MARCH TO CELEBRATE MEN AND BOYS COMES TO EDINBURGH
A march to celebrate and promote men and boys is being organised by a woman… Sally-Anne Burris, who hopes to shine the spotlight on issues affecting men and boys.
The march – on March 20 – is a “colourful, inclusive, and positive” event to celebrate Men and Boys been announced for Edinburgh.
“Marching for Men and Boys” will see men, women, and young people from all over Edinburgh and the Lothians march from Edinburgh Castle and down the Royal Mile to the Scottish Parliament, with speeches, music and merriment along the way.
Organisers ‘Split the Difference’ are a not-for-profit organisation and were set up by Welsh campaigner Sally-Anne Burris after she lost her only brother who struggled to get the support he needed as a teenage boy transitioning to manhood.
Sally-Anne Burris, a qualified therapist and journalism student with 30 years’ experience working within high-risk frontline services, has dedicated the last 10 years of her life to campaigning for male rights, having been partly inspired by the loss of her only brother who she says was never able to find the right kind of support he desperately needed.
She said: “The nature of my work as a therapist over many years, which has included areas like homelessness, drug and alcohol, child protection and more, has led me to recognise the many inequalities men face, and I knew I had to fight their corner, the evidence would allow me to turn away from this need. We want equal rights for everyone, regardless of gender, class, or circumstance.”
“This march is for everyone, men, women and children, and its main purpose is to celebrate men and boys, and what they bring to the world,” she added.
“Expect to see smiling faces, singing, and men and women walking together in unity. We’ll end the march at the Parliament with hot chocolate and mince pies.
“On occasions I have been asked by people why as a woman I promote equality for men and boys. There seems to be an assumption by some women that we are required to only support the female agenda. It is a human need to support each other and right now, I feel it is our men and boys who need an effort made to open pathways into supportive services.“
The march is not in any way overtly political, or confrontational, Sally-Anne explained that Split The Difference would nonetheless have loved to have handed a letter into the Scottish Parliament at the end of the march.
“We want our organisation to be involved in the consultation process around hate crime, and would definitely have handed in a letter for them to take notice of our concerns, and ask that this be possible,” said Sally-Anne.
The exuberant event is part of a three month annual programme of marches organised by Split The Difference.
This not for profit organisation founded by Welsh campaigner Sally-Anne Burris, is aiming to ensure that men and boys are as equally served as women and girls, by those who structure the governance within the UK and other countries throughout the world.
Current areas of inequality experienced by the male gender include family law, healthcare provision, legal representation, housing, and education, not to mention domestic abuse say campaigners.
Now planning to facilitate a march in Scotland, Ireland and Wales over the next six months, before returning to London next September, Split The Difference is hoping that the UK wide programme will continue for the foreseeable future with regular marches, perhaps even turning into a Festival, that not only highlights the needs of men and boys, but identifies and celebrates the positive attributes they bring to society.
The Scottish date has been lent generous assistance by the organisation Gender Parity UK, who have agreed to co-host the Edinburgh event. It is expected to compete handsomely with the Split The Difference London march with numbers already moving into the hundreds.
Philipp Tanser, from Gender Parity UK, said: “Men’s issues are often invisible and there is a lack of awareness, recognition and support in many areas. Only by publicly talking about men’s mental health, suicide, homelessness, custody issues, male victims of abuse and other issues men face, can we create change.”
Sally-Anne said: “We are delighted to be bringing this event to Edinburgh, and my thanks go to Philipp, and our many other supporters who are helping make all this possible at this time.”
“Gender Parity UK’s help has been invaluable in spreading awareness of our cause, and I’m now seeking a similar organisation to perhaps come forward to assist with our march in the Republic of Ireland on the 21st March 2021.”
Pilipp Tanser from Gender Parity UK said: “There are many organisations that, without funding, support men and boys. They do a wonderful job, despite their lack of government support, but we think it is time for the media to raise awareness of these male disadvantages and for the government to remedy them.”
“We are extending an invitation to all these great organisations to join us on the march to be visible, promote their services, and to send a signal out to men and boys that they are not alone in their struggles. We will have a wide range of speakers in front of Parliament after our march who will address topics such as Homelessness, Fatherhood, the Justice System and Domestic Abuse.”
Philipp will also spend the week prior to the march promoting the event by handing out invitations, putting up posters and collecting money for the Male Domestic Abuse Organisation AMIS (Abused Men In Scotland). www.abusedmeninscotland.org.
Sally-Anne added: “We are very passionate about making a real difference to any legislature, and all types of meaningful consultation are crucial to ensure men get a far better balance in many areas of the law.”
“We’re really looking forward to engaging with the Edinburgh populus on the day of the march. I believe we are giving out a positive focus at this time.”
Further details on the Split The Difference Scottish March, and the overall campaign, can be found at https://splitthedifference.com/campaign.