Philippa Karsera Christodoulides shares the source of her strength

An inspiring speech entitled ‘Empowering Equality: A Vision for Inclusive Participation and Social Transformation’ and with many messages of support and empowerment was delivered by the First Lady of Cyprus, Philippa Karsera Christodoulides at the recent Women Leaders' Forum.

With her strong presence and her great contribution in many sectors of society and in the cultural, social and political life, Karsera Christodoulides encouraged the women of Cyprus to set goals, take into account the obstacles and adapt, while, not she also failed to talk about her own difficulties and the big change in her life since the day her husband decided to run for the Presidency of the Republic.

Her 26 March speech began with the resounding message that without vision there is no change. "After the vision comes strategy, planning and resilience, which lead to achieving the goals," she added in her introduction.

Philippa Karsera Christodoulides (3)

Speaking from her own, personal experiences, she said: “A starting point for me is always personal responsibility towards our society and our world. Everyone is responsible for how the society we live in looks and behave. As citizens, mothers, teachers, artists, journalists, managers, employes, politicians. Besides, we are all voters. Beyond what Governments do in terms of policies and enforcement of laws, the most pressing question in my eyes is “What do you do for others?” And to make it more relevant with today’s Forum, what do we do for women? Whether we realise it or not, every action of ours, word or thought bears consequence, in our lives and more importantly in the lives of other people."

On this, she referred to Social Media as an example where the words that are written significantly influence people.

The First Lady then spoke about the theory of strategy. " It is good to have goals and put down means and ends, however, we must accept that we cannot control everything, and we have to be adaptable," she said based on her experiences as a diplomat, wife and mother.

"Remember: women are more adaptable, they show resilience and flexibility. Thus, we have an important role to play," she said.

Philippa Karsera Christodoulides (2)

As we make plans, Karsera Christodoulides explained, "While you are making plans, always be ready for unpredictable changes. They may be challenging but may also bring new opportunities,” looking back on the early stages of her diplomatic career.

“Whenever I have the choice, I always choose to be in a team of capable, strong and good-hearted people... It is a virtue to pursue a working relationship with the best," she added.

"Everybody has a talent, an area where he/she can do better than us. Be the one who brings out the best in others. Create space for younger people and be happy when you see them thrive and even do better than you," said the First Lady addressing the audience of the conference, which also included members of the local business world.

In a personal confession that encouraged the participants, Karsera Christodoulides admitted that "things haven’t always been easy. To be honest, I could describe it as an endless effort to prove that you are good enough and you also deserve what others have for granted. Hoping that one day others will assess you on your own merits."

"Women also have a moral compass, an instinct that guides them; when we know that this is the right thing to do, nothing will stop us from achieving our goals...These special characteristics that women have, if they prevail will lead to empowerment, equality, and inclusiveness," she said.

“Be yourself no matter what. As long as you work hard, you have a vision, you are fair and reasonable, forget the stereotypes and any kind of 'noise' and do what it feels right for the purpose you want to serve," was another piece of advice from the First Lady.

Philippa Karsera Christodoulides (1)

She made special reference to the period when the President of the Republic and her husband, Nikos Christodoulides, decided to become a candidate.

In particular, she said, “I could have never of course predicted that one day my husband would become the President of this Country that I passionately love and work for since the age of 22. A year ago Nikos was elected president and then I realized that something much bigger than my personal career, that I was struggling for so many years to reconcile with my role as a mother with priority given to motherhood, needed at least for a while my full dedication and personal commitment.”

As she stated, "I had to get a break from full time job, to adapt, strive for the “right” balance between this new role and people expectations and my family, and find purpose and joy in this First Lady’s hat that I have never even imagined or dreamt about. Taking a temporary unpaid leave was the only realistic option to re-organize our lives, support the children and my husband, and serve peace and stability in the family. It was also the answer to avoid total burnout. And that was the time that I put together the various puzzle pieces in my path so far, which I have shared with you today."

"I am grateful for what I have and feel a sense of responsibility towards people who have trusted my husband in the leadership of this beautiful country. And I am proud that day by day, through the implementation of his vision, Cyprus is becoming a fairer and more inclusive place for all. As the spouse of the President, every day I realize that I can find happiness in supporting my husband to bring some real progress in Cyprus society and everyday life and to work for reunification and peace," she concluded.

Philippa Karsera Christodoulides (4)
  • Main sponsor: ECOMMBX
  • Sponsors CA Papaellinas Group, Energame, Hellenic Bank, IMR
  • Organizer: IMH
  • In collaboration with: BPW Cyprus
  • Communication Sponsors: CBN (Cyprus Business News), IN Business magazine, REPORTER portal, SUPER FM

(Source: InBusinessNews)

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