Canada and the World, Ep. 32: On the ground with Canadian Armed Forces in Jordan

A podcast series from OpenCanada.org and the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

By: /
March 18, 2019

With host Bessma Momani in Jordan around International Women’s Day, this episode offers a rare look into the efforts of the Canadian Armed Forces working as part of Operation Impact, the CAF training assistance mission in Kuwait, Iraq, Lebanon, Qatar and Jordan. Two women — Aisha Jawed and Sonia Dumouchel-Connock — share their on-the-ground experiences of building capacity with the ultimate goal of increasing security in the Middle East. In particular, this episode looks at Canada’s involvement in training the first Female Engagement Team (FET) within the Jordanian Armed Forces, a group of 35 women aged 19 to 36 who will eventually serve as infantry soldiers alongside their male peers. Why are women soldiers so necessary when it comes to responding to refugees at the border and the searching of villages? How will they become integrated within the forces? What are the barriers to the FET being seen as just as capable? And, more broadly, whether in Jordan or Canada, what are the challenges and opportunities around including more women in the military?

Our host

Bessma Momani is professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and University of Waterloo and a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. She’s also a non-resident senior fellow at the Stimson Center in Washington, D.C. and a Fulbright Scholar. She has been non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and a 2015 Fellow at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. She’s a frequent analyst and expert on international affairs in Canadian and global media.

This week's guests

Capt Aisha Jawed joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2004. After completing Artillery Officer training, she was posted to the 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery as a Troop Commander, in Shilo MB. After six years and holding various positions, including but not limited to Dismounted Forward Observation Officer and Brigade STAC O, Capt Jawed was posted to 3rd Canadian Division Headquarters as a staff officer, in Edmonton, AB.

Major Sonia Dumouchel-Connock joined the Canadian Forces in 2000 as a Maritime Surface and Subsurface Officer and sailed on several ships, including HMCS Protecteur, before transferring to the Royal Canadian Air Force as a public affairs officer. As a military public affairs officer, she has held positions at the tactical, operational and strategic levels, including 12 Wing Public Affairs Officer, Strategic Communications Advisor to Commander RCAF, and Plans Officer at the Canadian Joint Operations Command. She is currently deployed as the Joint Task Force-Impact Public Affairs Officer, providing support to the 850 personnel deployed as part of Op IMPACT in Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait and Qatar.

Canada and The World is produced and edited by Matthew Markudis. Each episode can be found on iTunes and other podcast applications.