Women Hunting in a Man’s World - a Case Study from Svalbard (completed)

For women to be able to participate in outdoor recreation in the arctic landscape of Svalbard without men, they need a high caliber rifle license. Has this led to a higher degree of participation in hunting in general among the female population of Svalbard?

About the project

Full title: Women Hunting in a Man’s World: being licensed to kill as a premise for outdoor recreation in Svalbard.

For women to be able to participate in outdoor recreation in the arctic landscape of Svalbard without men, they need a high caliber rifle license. Has this led to a higher degree of participation in hunting in general among the female population of Svalbard?
About 2600 people live in Svalbard. Most of these people live in single households, and 60% of them are men. The arctic climate has drawn a variety of career professionals working in governance, research and the coal industry, and the low level of taxation and stunning (if austere) cultural and natural landscapes draw a fairly adventurous kind of people to the islands.
 

The arctic conditions in Svalbard might lead to dangerous situations that demand the utmost from both people and equipment. Sudden changes of weather, intense cold, and more than  2500 polar bears in Svalbard require taking serious precautions involving suitable firearms (a big-game rifle such as a .308 or higher cal) and ammunition. To protect oneself in the event of a polar bear attack, one needs know-how and experience about firearms. In order to have a license to carry these arms, Norwegian law requires you to sit a theoretical and practical test on hunting and shooting – “Jegerprøven”, or the hunting license test.
 

The purpose of managing animal species in Svalbard is to protect naturally occurring species, and hunting and fishing must not affect the stocks. Svalbard's animals are in principle protected, but controlled and limited hunting is allowed in the case of some few species, the most popular being reindeer and ptarmigan.
For women to be able to move about outdoors without men, they need this hunting license. Has this led to a higher degree of participation in hunting in general among the female population of Svalbard?

Duration: 2011-2012
 

Financing

Arctic Field Grant, Norsk Polarinstitutt

Published Oct. 31, 2013 10:59 AM - Last modified Oct. 31, 2013 10:59 AM