The Chairperson, our facilitators, gentlemen and ladies of the press, all distinguished women and men here present. I warmly welcome you all to this second edition of the Pride Women Conference.

We will all agree that there are many conferences that are held with the economic empowerment of women as their main focus. This is a great thing. However, at Pride Magazine Nigeria we gave a great deal of thought to what our conferences should focus on and we decided that our focus should be on what every woman needs to be able to function and excel. Thus we came to the decision that EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING SHOULD BE OUR GOAL. But what does emotional well-being really mean?

According to the Mental Health Foundation, emotional well-being is ‘a positive sense of well-being which enables an individual to be able to function in society and meet the demands of everyday life; people in good mental health have the ability to recover effectively from illness, change or misfortune.’ Thus, emotional well-being is the capacity of people to enjoy life, cope with stress, and focus on important personal priorities.

Emotional balance is a requisite for healing, transformative change, self-confidence and growth in several aspects of one’s life. Emotional balance implies that one is not overcome with worry, is not given to stressing over situations and events they cannot control, is not given to despair, and the person daily seeks to live an authentic, happy and secure life.

Emotional well-being requires that we learn to be resilient. This ability allows us to be flexible and balanced when confronted with stressful circumstances and traumatic events. By mastering our emotions, we are able to experience strong emotions without these emotions driving us to unhealthy extremes. We also know when to step forward and take action, and when to step back to rest and reenergise ourselves. We also learn to spend time with loved ones for support and encouragement. Lastly, we learn when to rely on others, but at the same time aware of the inner strength within that can overcome anything.

Emotionally healthy people are able to adjust to and solve problems, and in doing so they help others as well as themselves to get satisfaction out of life. For most of us, achieving emotional well-being is a serious work in progress. However, we all can acquire the much-needed skills to handle emotional problems; hence the conference aims to help us acquire skill sets and strategies to attain emotional well-being.

We hope that the honest, candid discussions that will take place today will help the modern woman cope with the challenges of work, relationships and family in the 21st century.

During today’s conference we will also be presenting the Jewel of Inestimable Value Award. This award is given to women who have distinguished themselves through their family and humanitarian values. Two great women of our country Nigeria, Her Excellency, Betsy Obaseki, First Lady of Edo State and Dr. (Mrs.) Obiageli (Oby) Ezekwesili, will receive this award.

Finally, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let the conversation continue. On this note, I welcome you once again to the 2018 Pride Women Conference and wish us all fruitful deliberations. Thank you.

Text of the Welcome Address by the co-convenor of the 2018 Pride Women Conference Mrs. Ijeoma Anyiam-Osigwe at the recently concluded 2nd edition of the conference which took place at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs. Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria on the 18th of May 2018.

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