International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 21 March, 2024

21 March marks International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. On this day in 1960, 69 peaceful protesters were killed by the police while protesting the apartheid “pass laws” in Sharpeville, South Africa.

Today, we join the urgent call to end racial discrimination in all its forms and manifestation across all settings. Colonial legacies and racism continue to exclude and deny rights to people of color. This unacceptable practice hinders progress towards racial equality and justice for all.  

This year’s theme is “A Decade of Recognition, Justice, and Development: Implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent.” The United Nations calls for  specific recognition of the need to promote and safeguard the rights of people of African descent.

On this occasion, we reiterate our commitment to work together with men and boys to challenge racism in all its forms, including anti-Blackness and anti-Indigeneity globally. As affirmed in the MenEngage Ubuntu Declaration and Call to Action.

We witness with grave concern the rising tide of antidemocracy, ethno-nationalism, white supremacy, masculinist and well-funded anti-rights movements, and repressive, authoritarian governments which have increased their attacks on gender equality, women’s rights, and the rights of LGBTQI people, particularly those most marginalized. 

We recognize that racism, classism, casteism, ableism and adultism further exclude and disenfranchise people; and disproportionately women/girls of color, immigrants, indigenous people, and LGBTQI people, especially young people. We must recognize the experiences and voices of Black women, women of color, and indigenous women, who live with disabilities and other intersecting marginalized identities, who have been excluded from higher education, professional opportunities, and resources, who –as a consequence– often live in poverty and in invisibility. 

We commit to firmly rooting our work with men and boys to dismantle patriarchy and its intersecting systems of oppression, including racism and colonialism, alongside sexism, homophobia, transphobia, adultism, ableism, xenophobia, classism, casteism, and capitalism. We commit to an ongoing reflective practice that increases transformative awareness of self and others, as well as of the systems from which complex social problems arise. 

We commit to following the leadership of feminist women’s rights and intersectional environmental and social justice movements across our work. Critical to this task is centering and elevating the agency, voices, analysis and demands of people of color; Black, indigenous and youth communities—centering those living at these intersections and those who are on the margins of the margins. 

MenEngage Alliance cherishes the diversities that exist among us and welcomes the richness of the different regions, histories, and contexts from which we come. Our commitment is expressed through one of our core principles, as included in our Accountability Framework, that affirms our commitment to  “being actively anti-racist”, in all of our programs, advocacy, representation and in our organizing. We commit to holding ourselves accountable to the principles and standards that we have developed for the work on transforming masculinities and engaging men and boys in gender equality.

👉Check the MenEngage Alliance’s Accountability Framework.

In solidarity with racial justice movements, leaders, and communities around the world.

21 March 2024