#Emilymatters – Votes for Women!

Filed in #Emilymatters, May 2014, Uncategorized by on May 21, 2014 0 Comments

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Votes for Women!

 

With the European elections on Thursday, it’d be great to get your #Emilymatters photo in support of gender equality and using our right to vote. 

 

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#Emilymatters – The top table is still stuffed with men in grey suits. It’s time for more balance & diversity!

 

Thanks to Nicola Gauld & Rebecca Furness for these fantastic photos.  The picture on the left includes arch anti suffragist Herbert Asquith (seated). 

 

You will go down in history as the man who tortured innocent women.
You ought to be driven from public life.
– George Lansbury (MP for Bow & Bromley) to Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, 1912

 

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Tweet/post your photo from your local polling station – tell us where & please include #Emilymatters in your tweet/post. 

Tweet @Emilymatters

Post on our Facebook page

 

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Why do you/don’t you vote? 

Tell us why voting is/isn’t important to you and include #‎Emilymatters‬ in your tweet.

We’ll be creating a storify from the #EP2014 so get involved!

It’d be great to hear from you.

Join the conversation now by following @Emilymatters

 

Suffragette Emily Davison along with countless brave individuals including Mary Leigh, Hilda Burkett and Sylvia Pankhurst campaigned for an equal society and the right to vote. They faced resistance, often brutal, from the government of the day, headed up by Asquith.

Yet today, so many don’t bother to use their hard won democratic right to vote.

 

No vote, no voice.

 

This is why projects like Bite the Ballot are so vital. They demonstrate that not voting puts you to the bottom of the pile when it comes to real progressive change.

And that’s exactly why the suffragettes and suffragists fought so hard for the vote.

Don’t be fooled by the old photographs the suffragettes’ brave battle for the vote was just a first step. Their cause is just as relevant today and their work is far from over.

 

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So if you think your vote doesn’t count, think again.

Social media is a brilliant new way of campaigning and the suffragettes would have eagerly embraced it, but it won’t effect change alone.

It’s your vote in the Ballot Box that has the potential to make changes at the top – and better presentation of women in the UK and European Parliaments would be a start.

But don’t expect things to change for the better anytime soon if you don’t use your right to vote.

 

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In February, I took my Emily Davison play, To Freedom’s Cause, to the House of Commons, a place that jealously guards drama to itself. This highly successful event included a lively and informative debate chaired by Jane Garvey (BBC Radio 4′s Woman’s Hour Presenter) and helped to boost Emily Thornberry MP’s important campaign for a statue of Emily Davison to be erected in Parliament.

 

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The 2014 #Emilymatters event included a performance of ‘To Freedom’s Cause’ & a debate chaired by
Jane Garvey with Chi Onwurah MP, Dr Helen Pankhurst, Yas Necati & Emma Barnett.

 

 

As part of this historic event, I created #Emilymatters, an initiative to help support the great work carried out by fourth wave feminist campaigns for gender equality, including Lucy HolmesNo More Page 3, the Everyday Sexism Project and the newly formed Go Girls Wales.

 

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We’ve got some exciting developments in the pipeline, so please do keep in touch. You can get a weekly summary of worldwide gender equality issues with the To Freedom’s Cause & Other #Emilymatters paper.li newsletter as well as updates on the play and future Kate Willoughby Productions & #Emilymatters projects.

There’s also a Kate Willoughby Productions mailing list you can join.

 

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Votes for Women: Sabina Arthur & Katie Russell, To Freedom’s Cause cast members, RADA
Photo: Val Burgess, 2011

 

We have come a long way since Emily Wilding Davison and her sister suffragettes first campaigned for women to have equal voting rights. However, there is still some way to go before we achieve true equality, so let’s finish the work Emily Davison and the women’s suffrage movement started!

 

Kate Willoughby
Actor & Writer of Emily Wilding Davison play To Freedom’s Cause

 

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Emily Davison’s legacy is for life, not just for 2013.

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