TEDxYangonWomen is an annual event that brings people together to share ideas, concepts, and stimulate conversations. A virtual interactive event was held on November 21 and 22 despite the pandemic. This year’s event aims to empower people, especially women, to courageously make choices in all aspects of life and find their voice in the community.

Diverse participants and speakers regardless of age, gender, and occupation came together this weekend to have engaging and knowledge stimulating conversations during this time of social distancing.

The Fainthearted Dies Twice

Photo Credit: Ye Marn, and Pyae Phyoe Hein. TEDxYangon, 2020.

Key takeaway: Fear occurs when things happen without expectations. Often, overthinking anxiety follows after, and mainly because we are afraid of being looked down on. Accordingly, find solutions to your concerns systematically instead of overthinking. Some concerns should be faced individually, but some can be shared with others. In some cases, you can gain strength through unity. Specifically, knowing that you’re not the only one. Fear can distress not only yourself but the surrounding as well. Likewise, when people sensibly deal with fear, they can inspire others to do so. Have the courage to accept what your fear is and to defend it sensibly.

The Truth About Us: LGBT Representation in Film

Photo Credit: Ye Marn, and Pyae Phyoe Hein. TEDxYangon, 2020.

Key takeaway: Myanmar Film Industry has used the LGBTQ+ community stereotypes for comedic purposes. If films reveal the full aspects of the community’s real lives, not only will it be an exceptional film, it is good for the LGBTQ+ community as well. The public can gain empowerment from the experiences of LGBTQ+ events, and you can feel the acceptance of society. Feel confident to be apart of the LGBTQ+ and don’t be ashamed about it. Take time to find yourself, and take time to understand the community members. Most importantly, take time to come out to society and show that you can be happy regardless of what you identify yourself.

Fight Like a Girl: Kicking Fear to the Curb

Photo Credit: Ye Marn, and Pyae Phyoe Hein. TEDxYangon, 2020.

Key takeaway: Almost every women fear being assaulted, fear reporting crimes, and fear the consequences of admitting to being a victim or survivor. Because ‘Victim Blaming’ occurs for women who have to undergo experiences in harassment and assaults. Sometimes women victim-blame themselves and get involved with the toxic combination of fear, guilt, and shame, and it takes time to get over. These fears are built on from a young age where women are taught to bear the responsibilities if they break women’s etiquette. The first step to break this fear is to find your voice, and it is essential to understand yourself. Sharing these stories can create a sense of community and support. Self-defense is being able to defend yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. A single fearless woman can change her family and society, and all it takes is to bring courage one woman at a time.

The Right Fear

Photo Credit: Ye Marn, and Pyae Phyoe Hein. TEDxYangon, 2020.

Key takeaway: If there are fears, there are solutions. Before you face the fears, know and understand them first. That way, you can put your guard up when you see signs around you. Choose your own battles because there are alternative ways to face it. Just because others won their fights doesn’t mean that their techniques are suitable for you. Thus, it is okay to have different solutions but have the right mindset to accept any outcoming results. It is essential to find what is most suitable for your life, and if you are satisfied with yourself, go for it. When you know the consequences of your decisions early, prepare for it and work hard for it, and you can attain a sustainable life. That way, you can be fearless. Always know yourself and reevaluate yourself. Build your inner fire to face your fears.

Other Notable TedxWomen talks mentioned in TedxYangonWomen

Spoken Word Performance

Performer: Apiorkor Seyiram Ashong-Abbey Photo Credit: @apiorkor, Twitter, 2020

Women Empowerment Performance: ” Bask in my majesty,… Take a bow for me, Clear the way for me, Learn to deal with me: For I will continue to step out into the darkness…to chase success, to compete,…to immerse myself in the tongues of fire that rage around me…It’s daunting, but I do it because that’s just what I do…I am the Queen, I am the Woman who every woman MUST be. I am FEARLESS!”

Why female leadership rock, and how everyone can do it

Julia Giillard in conversation with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at TEDWomen 2020. November 12, 2020. Photo courtesy of TED.

Key takeaway: Women have encountered unnecessary judgments on appearance rather than listening to the leadership words. Women must balance between strength and empathy to be viewed as an acceptable leader. If leading women does not voice hardships, other women and girls decide leadership is only for superwomen. 

  • There is no “right way” to be a woman leader, so true to yourself. 
  • Debunk gendered stereotypes and don’t wait for gender equality. 
  • Grow your network, don’t shy away from it. 

Most importantly, Go For It!

Share your thoughts on the topics, your ideas, voice your opinions using the tag  #TEDxYangonWomen2020 and #TEDx.

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