As we celebrate International Women’s Day this week, we shine a light on Canada’s women lightkeepers in a new Co-Lab challenge.
Have you ever visited a lighthouse? These great structures by the sea are often many storeys high and in isolated locations. The life of a lighthouse keeper was a challenging one. Lightkeepers dealt with isolation, challenging weather conditions and the need for constant vigilance.
The role was officially awarded to men only, but women often took charge of the duties when their husbands or fathers were no longer able. As a result, there were several female lightkeepers across the country during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Since they worked every bit as hard as their male counterparts, these women wanted the same rights as other lightkeepers.
“In nine years I have had only three weeks’ holiday. […] I hope you will be able to convince those warmly housed gentlemen at Ottawa that when 23 years are taken out of a woman’s life in a lighthouse, she is about due for a recognised and guaranteed rest.”
If you want to know more about these brave and strong women, participate in our latest Co-Lab challenge: Women lightkeepers, heroes by the sea.