A refugee from Iraqi Kurdistan, Taffan Ako fled to Sweden in 1997 with her family. Today she is the Coordinator of One Young World Ambassadors for Scandinavia and Eastern Europe and founder of EmpowHERment, an organization that assists women and young girls who have been former ISIS sex slaves or victims of human trafficking. Her foundation finances integration projects for children and women in Europe and in Iraqi Kurdistan.
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Former refugee, Rez Gardi is the first female Kurdish lawyer in New Zealand and Young New Zealander of the Year 2017. Rez believes International Women’s Day is an important time to celebrate the accomplishments of women and support one another to achieve their goals.