Two thirds (63%) of British men say a Minister for Men and Boys is needed
According to an International Men’s Day survey from the Men and Boys Coalition charity, two thirds of British men (63%) believe there should be a Government minister with responsibility for men’s health and well-being, with only 10% considering it unnecessary.
A similar proportion (60%) say the Government are currently not doing enough to address the problems facing them today (26% said they were).
The charity is calling for all political parties to adopt concrete policies to address the gender-specific problems facing men and boys and calling upon all parties to include specific commitments in their manifestos. The charity maintains that policies to address men’s physical and mental health would reap benefits not only for individual men at risk, but for the women and girls in their families and for the wider good of society.
The issues include high rates of male suicide (13 men every day die by suicide) to the numbers of men in prison (over 90,000), and rough sleeping (over 2,500) to over 400,000 young men currently not in education, employment or training (NEETS).
Among the policies proposed are the creation of a men’s health strategy, a strategy to support male victims of abusive crimes, the creation of a ministerial brief for men’s health and wellbeing within the Department of Health, and making tackling boys’ underachievement at school a national education priority.
Currently there is a national women’s health strategy with a minister to oversee its delivery, but no equivalent for men, despite men’s health and life expectancy being markedly poorer on almost all comparable measures. (See annex for national policies proposed by the charity).
Research was carried out by 3Gem Research & Insights from 30th October – 1st November 2023 on behalf of the charity. The survey findings are based on 1,000 responses from men only (18+) in the UK. The survey findings were:
|Do you think the UK government is doing enough to address the problems facing men and boys?
|More than enough
|Not always enough
|Nowhere near enough
|I don’t know
There are age differences with 77% of men aged 35-44% believing there is not enough/nowhere near enough attention whilst the figure is 53% for men between 18 and 24.
|Recently there has been some discussion in the media about whether there should be a government minister with specific responsibility for men’s health and well-being. Is this something you support?
The Men and Boys Coalition actively supports policy measures to improve and support the health and well-being of women and girls. They argue that adopting gender-inclusive policies to improve the health and well-being of men and boys would add to and assist such efforts, rather than undermine or detract from them. .
Ally Fogg, Chair of the Men and Coalition, said: “These results show that a large majority of British men believe the problems they face are being ignored by political parties at Westminster, both in government and opposition, and we think British men are right to feel like that. While politicians look away out of misplaced fear of looking politically incorrect, all too many fathers, brothers and sons are struggling, suffering or dying prematurely from treatable diseases or, tragically commonly, at their own hands.
“There are huge problems facing men and boys in our country – from suicide to prison numbers and from rough sleeping to brutalised childhoods. These issues cannot continue to be ignored as they clearly are now.
“We all share our lives and society together. Supporting men and boys effectively will not only will help them, it will benefit women, girls and wider society too. It is obvious. The government and political parties need to step up and act. “
Darren Ryan Global Creative Director – 3Gem Research & Insights, said: “It is evident from the findings of the 3Gem Research & Insights survey that the perspectives of men and boys hold significant weight. Our survey unequivocally reveals that nearly one-quarter of men (23%) hold the view that the UK government’s efforts in addressing the challenges they encounter have fallen significantly short. It is therefore time that these concerns be promptly addressed, ushering in an era of more inclusive and comprehensive solutions to enhance the overall well-being of men and boys in our society.”
“It’s also perhaps unsurprising that a resounding 63% majority of men in the UK have articulated a clear and emphatic preference for the establishment of a dedicated government minister responsible for men’s health and well-being. This substantial level of support underscores a pronounced demand for focused initiatives aimed at tackling the distinct challenges men encounter, amplifying the urgency for a comprehensive and all-encompassing strategy to enhance men’s health and overall well-being.”