Trophy hunting of Himalayan ibex by a female dentist triggers debate on social media
The hunting of an ibex for the trophy by a woman has triggered a new debate on social media. Some people are celebrating it describing it as women’s “empowerment”. However, most women’s rights and conservation activists have condemned it as an act of savagery.
National Women Front Gilgit-Baltistan has condemned the act and its publicity on social media.
A photo posted by Dr Nazneen Aman Barcha, who is currently serving as a dental medical officer at Tehsil Headquarters Hospital Gulmit, Gojal, showing her trophy has become viral and generated a debate on social media.
She hunted a Himalayan ibex in Hussani pastures in Batura Valley becoming the first woman to hunt a wild animal.
Activists and academics described trophy hunting “an immoral” activity that is carried out for selfish and inhumane reasons and it must stop now”.
National Women Front Gilgit-Baltistan (NWF-GB) has condemned trophy hunting and the display of the trophy on social media.
“Hunting wild animals is condemnable no matter who the hunter is. In a statement on its Facebook wall, NWF-GB said, “We are deeply concerned about a recent report of hunting a Himalayan ibex by a woman in Hunza, Gilgit-Baltistan, and the subsequent celebrations that have followed.”
The NWF-GB strongly condemns any form of trophy hunting, including the hunting of ibex, the statement read.
“We believe that women have historically been the protectors and promoters of ecology and ecological beings, and we stand in opposition to the idea that hunting should be celebrated.”
The women’s rights organisation has “a firm belief that the conservation of ibexes and other wildlife should be a priority for all individuals and communities.
The Himalayan Ibex is a vital part of the ecology of Gilgit-Baltistan and the surrounding region, the statement asserted.
The NWF has urged all individuals and communities to work together to protect these important creatures.
Trophy hunting, whether undertaken by women or men, is a harmful and unsustainable practice that has no place in modern society.
The NWF has called upon the government, all individuals, and communities in Gilgit-Baltistan to prioritise the conservation and protection of the Himalayan ibex and other wild species.
All nature-loving people and communities should stand with us in condemning all forms of trophy hunting, the statement concluded.
Memona Abbas, an educationist, in a post on her Facebook wall, commented: “If this is what we call women empowerment, then I direly need to revisit my ideology…! Educate me, please! Because for me, it’s not!”
She further says, “I would have taken pride in a woman’s effort to protect the very specie which is already endangered instead of killing it. By this, I do not mean that the role of women is restricted to caregiving only, but exercising her power where it actually is needed”.
She has feared that this will be “the start of a journey towards brutality (just like men posing valour and bravery for ages for killing animals first and then fellow men and women with ease!) which we have always been detesting but joining them in the end.”
Social media pages have surely no authentic content to educate us but keep peeping into matters that concern individuals only, she concludes.
Dr Ejaz Ayub, a cardiologist and activist commented: hunting with modern snipers isn’t a big deal, neither hunting is a human necessity anymore likewise in “ancient hunter-gatherer societies”.
Killing animals and birds in the name of hunting and posting on media should be discouraged.
Safiullah Baig, a cultural development expert, and political activist commented on his Facebook wall that those who are declaring trophy hunting by a doctor an act of women empowerment must reconsider their false position.
This elite game has nothing to do with gender and class politics. In fact, it is a classical example of money power and the deep desire of exercising patriarchal sport for fame.
The vast majority of women don’t have access to the required disposable cash to get a trophy hunting licence, they can’t afford such expensive modern weapons of precision.
Finally, this act won’t have any positive outcomes for the majority of working women’s immediate needs and strategic objectives of encompassing equality in society.
This is a neoliberal position about women’s empowerment and feminism, Safiullah argued.
Basharat Issa, an academic, says the trophy hunting of an ibex by a local woman has raised a moral, philosophical, ecological, feminist, historical, etc., debate in the region.
One preliminary conclusion from the trophy hunting debate so far is: If you’re rich and powerful, you can not only hunt animals but also humans without any consequences. We have ample evidence for that already from the world we live in.