Dear Lauren – #votingmatters

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 D E A R   L A U R E N . . .

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#Votingmatters is an ongoing campaign from #Emilymatters. which champions gender equality and encourages young women to vote, ensuring that legacies such as suffragette Emily Davison’s are not forgotten.

Who is Lauren?

Lauren is a student in Glasgow. As a seventeen year old, she was a first time voter in the Scottish Independence Referendum last year. Lauren’s attitude reflected the unique standing of the Referendum, which was reported to have a record 84.6% turnout.

Lauren said she was still an undecided voter in the Independence Referendum, but had a very different view take on politics in general:

 

 

I don’t really care … I’m not really interested in it. I think it’s very boring.
– Lauren, Glasgow

 

And she is not alone.

At the 2010 general election only 39% of young women aged 18-24 voted, whilst just 20% of BAME young women used their right to vote.

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This has to change and will require genuine grass roots engagement, better representation of women and minorities as well as more devolved powers from Westminster.

 

Hear Lauren’s story in her own words:

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The grassroots revolution in Scotland shows that it is possible to reach first time voters and those who were previously disaffected. And now with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, it’s clear that a business as usual approach by Westminster won’t wash.

If first time voters, like Lauren, continue to give up their hard won right to vote, young people’s services will likely continue to an easy target for budget cuts. #votingmatters.

To celebrate Emily Davison’s birthday last year (which is now also International Day of the Girl) on 11th October, we asked:

 

What would you say to Lauren to encourage her to change her mind?
Please include #votingmatters in the text.

 

Tweets, clips, photos, poems and blogs about why #votingmatters to came in from across the UK and beyond.

 

Dear Lauren …

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No vote = no voice.

 

Thanks to the fantastic response we are continuing to develop the #DearLauren campaign. The latest development is a verbatim theatre performance as part of the first interactive #Emilymatters production at Woman Up! London.

 

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Do send us your #DearLauren response, either as a photo or clip as we look ahead to future elections.

Building on the success of the #Emilymatters House of Commons event and coverage of elections and debates, we are looking to develop an ongoing #votingmatters digital archive to inspire and motivate young women to vote in the future.

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#votingmatters to the Emily Tree 21st century suffragettes

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The suffragettes used the cutting edge technology and new media of their day to promote their campaigns, so it is fitting that #votingmatters makes full use of social media.

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Dr Helen Pankhurst, great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, (leader of the British suffragette movement), with daughter Laura & the Olympic suffragettes added their support for #votingmatters on Emily Davison’s birthday.

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Plans are already in the pipeline for a much larger future community-based project that will include my Emily Davison play ‘To Freedom’s Cause‘, which has extensive audience feedback to prove that young women, in particular, identify with much of Emily’s struggle and the importance of voting.

 

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Emma Thompson adds her support. Because #votingmatters

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You can find us on social media:

Listening and valuing what others have to say is very much a part of what we do. The shouters can look after themselves, we think the quiet voices often have the most to say.

It’s time to Step Up | Vote | Lead

 

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

 

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