FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Taliban continues to limit the role of women in Afghanistan, recently stopping them from going to secondary school and ordering employees in Kabul city government to stay home unless their jobs can’t be filled by men, according to several national news outlets.

Two Kentucky professors give their perspective with expertise on a complex situation with a long history.

“It’s essential for people to have a good understanding of what’s going on,” Dr. Kathleen Montgomery, interim director of UK’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, said.

Montgomery said that’s her mission, and as the situation continues to unfold in Afghanistan, she hopes students are viewing it through a global lens.

“It influences the United States’ position in the world,” Montgomery said. “We see indications that this might have caused some strain in NATO relations.”

Centre College professor Dina Badie agrees that students should be able to engage with what they’re hearing and seeing on the news, and the school’s new Middle East studies minor allows them to do that.

“[It’s] designed to introduce students to the diversity of the Middle East, to the culture of the Middle East, to the politics and history, and really to develop a nuanced understanding of a region that I think is really deeply misunderstood in the country,” Badie said.

Both professors said the latest restrictions on Afghan women’s rights aren’t surprising given the country’s history.

“The coming months will really tell what the long-term implications will be for women, but clearly, if women aren’t able to advance beyond primary education then that’s going to be a huge step backward from all of the gains that we’ve achieved over the past 20 years,” Montgomery said.

Badie said she hopes President Biden uses other methods to encourage civil rights in Afghanistan, but for now, she’ll continue to teach the next generation of global thinkers.

“So that the types of interactions that can be cultivated in the future can be positive ones,” Badie said.

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