Coming Up Sat 4:00 PM  AEST
Coming Up Live in 
Live
Dari radio
SBS DARI

‘Don’t expect success in a box’: Afghan woman in the running for Small Business Champion Award

Source: Supplied

An Afghan businesswoman shortlisted for the Australian Small Business Champion Award says the talent of many women from her community is wasted because of the cultural “mental constraints” among the community.

Businesswoman and entrepreneur Tahera Jehanbeen’s accounting firm is shortlisted for this year’s Australian Small Business Champion Award.

After 19 years in Australia, Ms Jehanbeen says she struggled to overcome the “mental constraints” she had inherited from her home country’s cultural and traditional views about women.

Despite having worked with international organisations in Afghanistan, she says she had to fight the mindset that women should not stay late at work.

Tahera Jehanbeen's accounting firm has seven employees
Tahera Jehanbeen's T & R Accountants has five full-time and two casual employees.
Supplied

“Mental constraints are there in our mind, they are in our blood, and to accept that it is okay to stay out has been a challenge for me,” she says. “I see women of very high talent, and their feet are tied with a large ring and kept at home which makes me very sad.”

Pursuing a goal in a completely new country is challenging for every migrant, but being a woman, particularly from Afghanistan, she says, is much more challenging.

“Just because people around that woman and her family are basically living with mental constraints, in those dark ideas of past, which don’t let that Afghan woman or girl achieve her goals,” Ms Jehanbeen told SBS Dari.

Her business won last year’s Parramatta Outstanding Professional Service Award, which Ms Jehanbeen says encouraged her to take the business further and seek recognition at the national level.

The award-wining firm, T & R Accountants, has five full-time and two casual employees.

Tahera Jehanbeen
Inspired by wining Parramatta’s 2019 Outstanding Professional Service Award, she decided to seek national recognition for her business.
Supplied

Despite being busy running two businesses, T & R Accountants and Afghan Professional Group, she established the Afghan Peace Foundation, aiming to combat the cultural barriers for Afghan Australian women.

The not-for-profit organisation organises community events to inspire Afghan women and men for change.

‘Don’t expect success in a box’

Tahera Jehanbeen established the Afghan Peace Foundation, aiming to combat the cultural barriers for Afghan Australian women.
Despite being busy running two businesses, she established the Afghan Peace Foundation, aiming to combat the cultural barriers for Afghan Australian women.
Facebook/Tahera JB Nassrat

Ms Jehanbeen advises the Afghan Australian women who are struggling to pursue their dreams to combat the cultural barriers and taking their families about them.

“Do not always wait for someone to pack the success in a box and hand it to you. Fight for it. Have confidence in yourselves, have the self-esteem and stand up for every success in your life,” she says.

“Standing up means to harness that power of conversation and the power to stand up to your family and say that I want to achieve my goals and that is not wrong.

“You must convince your family, talk to them, because this is not a family issue, but because they’ve come from a background that this mentality has been engraved in their minds for years.”

Coming up next

# TITLE RELEASED TIME MORE
‘Don’t expect success in a box’: Afghan woman in the running for Small Business Champion Award 06/03/2020 14:49 ...
Australian Hazara's refugee fundraising sees brother 'severely tortured' by Taliban 22/03/2022 12:28 ...
Life in Australia: Australia’s First People and Afghan Cameleers 24/12/2021 00:10 ...
From Afghanistan to Melbourne: Shamsiya wants to become 'voice for the voiceless' in Australian media 23/12/2021 14:16 ...
Life in Australia: Everything you need to know about immigration and visas for Australia 17/12/2021 00:07 ...
Life in Australia: Summer safety and holidays in Australia 10/12/2021 14:28 ...
Life in Australia: Human rights in Australia 04/12/2021 12:10 ...
Life in Australia: Political system and freedom of religion 26/11/2021 12:41 ...
Life in Australia: How to buy a car 19/11/2021 14:17 ...
Life in Australia: Tax and sending money abroad 12/11/2021 13:16 ...
View More