#Emilymatters – Remembering Emily Davison

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A hundred and one years ago today suffragette Emily Wilding Davison set out for the Epsom Derby, which was the sporting and social event in the calendar that prompted the annual ‘scurry over Surrey’ as all of London seemed to descend on that small corner of the county.

 

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Epsom Derby Day, 2013
Photo: K Willoughby, 2013

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The racecourse authorities made full use of the new medium of film, so that the eyes of the world would be watching the big race, making it the ideal place to protest. Emily Davison must have made an anonymous figure weaving her way through the crowds to reach Tattenham Corner. She deliberately chose not to wear any identifiable suffragette colours, but kept two suffragette flags hidden inside her coat.

 

A swirling sea of people move about the common ground, whilst the Great and the Good are neatly fenced off in full view of the finishing post. Fortunes will be made and lost.
Description of Derby Day from the 2013 version of ‘To Freedom’s Cause’ by Kate Willoughby

 

Whatever doubt remains over Emily’s motives as she nipped under the barrier and stepped onto the racecourse, her commitment to ensuring all women had the right to vote, as a first step towards true equality is clear.

 

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Emily was not alone in her courage and determination to bring about positive change and her legacy is more important than ever, as the low turnout at the 2014 elections clearly demonstrated.

 

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It’s up to us to keep pushing for gender equality and better representation. This is why #Emilymatters supports the work of campaigns and organisations who seek to redress the balance, including No More Page 3, NAWO, 5050 Parliament and Go Girls Wales.

 

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#Emilymatters also seeks to make a difference by drawing on Emily Davison’s legacy. Our uplifting 2014 Election Day storify will form part of an exciting 2015 Votes project. Please do get in touch if you’d like to get involved.

 

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Raise your cup or glass today to Emily Wilding Davison & keep on pushing for gender equality!

 

Through out the day we will be remembering and celebrating Emily Wilding Davison, a most remarkable woman.

Follow #Emilymatters and @2FCPlay on Twitter and look out for the storify in the coming days.

 

 

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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