Women from all over the region will converge in Malaysia to discover, learn, meet and be inspired from ZafigoX 2017.

ZafigoX – the first event in Asia dedicated to Women Empowerment and Travel – will take place from August 29-31 at the Royale Chulan Penang Hotel and promises an immersive and evocative experience for all participants.  The brainchild of Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, founder of the women’s travel website Zafigo.com, ZafigoX is organised in conjunction with the George Town Festival 2017.

Set to grow into an annual event that will take place in multiple locations across Asia, ZafigoX hopes to impart a wealth of personal insights, useful travel skills and fun through:

o   Talks by trailblazing speakers from the region with powerful travel experiences and lessons to share. They include Manal al-Sharif, who led a right to drive campaign in Saudi Arabia; Jin Jeong from South Korea, who has cycled solo over 63,000 km around the world for six years (and is still going strong), and Malaysia’s Petrina Thong who safely hitchhiked from Sweden to Malaysia.

o   Workshops & Activities on skills that contribute to more confident and enjoyable travel experiences will be offered as well. For example, Brendan Ó Sé, a multi-award winning photographer and current iPhone Photographer of the Year (2017), will be giving a masterclass on Travel Photography, while Malaysian MMA fighter Ann “Athena” Osman will be leading a workshop on self-defence for women.

o   A Bazaar that is open to the public will be giving local women artisans and those making products targeted at women the opportunity to showcase their workmanship to over 5,000 anticipated visitors. This is expected to facilitate business networking and create new entrepreneurial opportunities.

Commenting on how ZafigoX was born, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir said: “I believe that travel is an indirect but very powerful way of empowering women to be more self-confident and independent. As we venture out of our geographic boundaries, especially alone, we also open our minds to going beyond societal and mental boundaries too. It is this awakening that empowers us to choose the lives we truly want to live. From this belief, both Zafigo.com and ZafigoX have sprung.”

“The talks at ZafigoX were carefully curated under themes such as ‘Breaking Barriers’ and ‘Destinations’. Under the first umbrella, our speakers will share inspiring stories of how travelling has helped them break the barriers that were holding them back, making a lasting positive impact on their lives. The latter theme will be on women who have gone on epic journeys, sharing their motivations, challenges and what they have learned along the way”, she elaborated.

ZafigoX sprouted its tender roots last year, when Zafigo.com was invited by the George Town Festival 2016 to do a panel session on women and travel. Four formidable women detailed their journeys to destinations that most people would likely perceive negatively. One had travelled to Afghanistan, one made Africa her home, another travelled to dangerous places as part of her work and the last found herself in the middle of the tsunami disaster. Although planned as a small event, the talk saw a full house with 60 women in attendance.

“An interesting insight from that session was that some of the participants had never travelled alone before, many did not even know how to get around on their own – yet, they felt safe enough at the talk to ask questions and share their fears about this”, said Marina. “And that’s the spirit and concept we want to nurture and preserve as we expand and organically grow ZafigoX to reach as many women as we can.”

“You will love the ZafigoX experience. I wanted an event like ZafigoX for a long time. In the end I decided to create it and share this initiative with like-minded women. There will be laughter and tears and hopefully a little enlightenment amidst the most amazing, non-judgemental and supportive group you could wish for”, she concluded.

Set to host over 300 women participants, ZafigoX welcomes women of all ages and walks of life. For more information and tickets for ZafigoX, please visit http://zafigo.com/zafigox.

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