The American Association of University Women’s Manhattan Branch hosted their 8th annual International Women’s Day celebration and forum Wednesday.

Antonina Broyaka, Lamya Abdullah Achelha, Maria Izquierdo and Sediqa Nazari were the four panelists. These women are natives of Ukraine, Morocco, Mexico and Afghanistan, respectively.

They spoke about life in their home countries and their experiences immigrating to the United States.

Achelha, a master’s candidate in mass communications at Kansas State University, said one of the most important parts of this International Women’s Day celebration is allowing women to share the difficulties they have faced.


Broyaka shared her story of having to leave her husband and flee Ukraine with their children nearly a year ago.


Manhattan AAUW President Usha Reddi said these difficult and honest conversations are necessary, so women from all countries and cultures can be understood and empowered.


A full recording of the forum can be viewed on AAUW Manhattan’s Facebook page.