In collaboration with the Men’s Network – Equality for Men too? Why men’s issues are creeping up the equality agenda.

About the event: Following the establishment of the University’s newest network, the Men’s Network in April 2022 and the very successful International Men’s Day conference comes this exciting event!

We are delighted to welcome Mark Brooks OBE to open the event. Mark is Senior Communications and Policy Advisor: Men and Boys’ Wellbeing and Inclusion as well as a trustee of the Men and Boys Coalition charity, Chair of The ManKind Initiative, a Policy Advisor for the All Parliamentary Party Group on Men and Boys Issues and the National Ambassador for International Men’s Day UK – phew!

Mark will discuss the societal and political narrative surrounding issues affecting men and boys.

He will be joined by our own Dr Alan Finnegan, who is a Professor of Nursing & Military Mental Health and Director of the Westminster Centre for Research in Veterans here at University of Chester. Dr Finnegan will discuss his research on military depression. The British Army is predominately composed of young men, often from disadvantaged backgrounds, in which Depression is a common mental health disorder. Dr Finnegan will discuss the result, implications and changes needed in this area.

We also look forward to welcoming Dr Maz Idriss, Senior Lecture in Law at Manchester Metropolitan University. Dr Maz will discuss the causes and effects of what is often referred to as “honour”-based violence/abuse (HBV/A) and forced marriages on men and boys. Often seen as something that only affects women, this is an under-researched field of patriarchal violence.

Another area that is often considered only a women’s issue is Domestic Violence. Paul Gladwell of the Paul Lavelle Foundation knows too well this isn’t the case. After the devastating loss of Paul Lavelle in a domestic abuse incident in 2017, friends and family of Paul came together to create The Paul Lavelle Foundation. The Charity was created to raise awareness of male domestic abuse, support male victims and survivors and provide healthy relationship education as a preventative measure. Paul and the Charity’s office manager Sharne will join us to tell us about their amazing work.

Facilitated by members of the men’s network with plenty of opportunity for networking and discussion, this event, open to staff, students and visitors of all genders is sure to be a Festival 2023 highlight!


9.00am Refreshments and Networking

9.10am Introduction to the day – Rob Dawson

9.20am Mark Brookes Institutional Indifference – the societal and political narrative surrounding issues affecting men and boys

9.50am Discussion – facilitated by Men’s network member

10.00am Dr Alan Finnegan Big Boys Don’t Cry: Research & the Military Veteran

10.30am Discussion – facilitated by Men’s network member

10.45am Break

11.15am Dr Maz Idriss HBV, Forced Marriages and Men

11.45am Paul Gladwell Domestic Violence against men – what we do and how we help

12.30pm Plenary with all speakers

12.45pm Event ends

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