A film about “Emily” and how to juggle work-life balance issues!

Women’s Parliamentary Radio
March 1st 2011

http://www.wpradio.co.uk – a new film of the life of the Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison and juggling work-life balance even a small “tweak” will make a big difference

http://www.wpradio.co.uk is broadcasting two new podcast broadcasts – we take a trip back in time to the life of the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison and we talk to a life-coach on how women MPs and those who take up “vocations” can juggle work-life balance.

A film of the life of “Emily” – Emily Wilding Davison:

Film Producer Joan Lane of WildThyme Productions Ltd http://www.wildthymeproductions.com and script writer and producer Barbara Gorna are making a film of the life of the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, who became a martyr to the cause of women’s votes when she was fatally injured in the 1913 Epsom Derby. She ran onto the track in support of the women’s right to vote campaign and was knocked over by the King’s horse but as this film reveals for the first time “Emily” did not commit suicide, her death was an accident.

The scarf “Emily” wore when she was knocked down is on loan to the House of Commons from Barbara and forms part of a small display near Central Lobby Westminster called “Parliament and Votes for Women”. “Emily” also hid herself in a broom cupboard in the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, in the crypt of St Stephen’s Hall, on the night of the census on 2nd April 1911. It will be 100 years on 27th March 2011, the date of the next census, since she did this.

Joan kick started the script for the King’s Speech and like that film script “Emily” resonated with Joan, whose father’s family come from Morpeth, where “Emily” is now buried. Our Executive Producer, Boni Sones OBE, spoke to Joan and Barbara as they stood under the “Emily” scarf and progressed to Central Lobby.
Barbara told Boni:

• “The scarf has become a totem for the women’s movement worldwide as Emily attempted to put it on the Kings horse in 1913, but she was knocked down by the horse and died four days later.”
• “She was imprisoned eight times, and she went on hunger strike together with the others, and they were force fed, which was a nasty treatment, it was a government approved torture.”
• “Several things have come to light in our research. Joan and I have been working on it for about nine months, and we have looked at things like where “Emily” gets her anger from, and we think some of her personal anger came from her family circumstances.”
• “It’s been a very interesting journey. The scarf was in my possession before it was in the Commons. There is a great presence about the scarf, and I often feel there is someone standing over my shoulder telling me what I should do. I have become very immersed in “Emily’s” character and I think with Joan I have got it right.”

Joan told Boni:

• “”Emily” ducks underneath the barrier, and waits until the Kings horse is approaching and attempts to drape the scarf over the horse, and being knocked to the ground she suffered fatal injuries when the horse kicked her. As to suicide, it is very unlikely; she had brought a return ticket. It is not a way you would commit suicide, it is a very suspect reason for her being at the races.”
• “The stage play of the script of the Kings Speech arrived on my desk in January 2006 and I tried very hard to get a stage play and production mounted, deeming it worthy of big attention, and I showed the script to some film colleagues at Bedlam films. They took an option on it and I was able to help them kick-start it, with a reading of it too.”
• “When the script for “Emily” arrived on my desk it resonated with me as the Kings Speech had resonated with me for personal reasons. I had been a speech and language therapist and had also met the Queen Mother on several occasions. With “Emily” my father’s family came from Morpeth where she is now buried and I have been to that Church many times.”
• “Barbara has done a marvellous job on the screenplay. I am a little angry that young women don’t always go to vote knowing of this historical story. I don’t think young women know how women suffered to get the vote and perhaps with the film more young women will go out to vote. It is a story for women worldwide.”

Barbara’s short documentary film of Emily’s life can be viewed on http://www.wpradio.co.uk/facetofacevideos.html

How to juggle work-life balance: Does a “vocation” stop you taking a much needed break?

“A healthy selfishness” might just help us all juggle that “Work- life balance” question says Caroline Lloyd-Evans, coach, counsellor and relationship therapist. Here Caroline tells Boni Sones OBE, our Executive Producer how women have to work harder, compete harder and climb over their own complexes to navigate that obstacle course to achieve balance. “Tweaking a little” can make a big difference. Do listen, this advice is clear! http://www.cleconsulting.co.uk.

• “A healthy selfishness – I used to say you need to be self-aware, and women are more self-aware. We are much more honest and aware to start-with but we then have to work out how to apply it to ourselves and we have to look at our body and our mind and how we feel and how “in balance” we are. We then need to be practical to all the calls upon our time, because they are enormous.”

• “Women are always queried, women have to work harder and compete harder and climb over their own complexes, because they are tougher on themselves. If women love what they are doing, it is harder to get a decent balance between their work-life balance. It is like an obstacle course, if you put too much into your work your home-life might suffer and vice-versa. Helping people to say “no” is important, and working out how to get yourself support. Women are terrible at thinking they have to do everything.”

• “Westminster is about conflict – you notice it is always military phrases like “battles”. Parliament is about being challenging and confrontational but once you point a finger at somebody else you can hurt yourself, it can come back to yourself and make you feel quit uncomfortable particularly the more sensitive side of yourself.”

• “Healthy selfishness – you need to listen to your own body, and know that you can snap unless you do something to relieve the stress like taking a break or going to a class of some kind. You need to think “is this worth getting upset about?”. MPs see so many serious situations, it ought to help them to say we can “lower the temperature” and take a break when needed.”

• “We can tweak the obstacles, remove them, but those small differences we make for instance to relax a bit or step up a bit, it’s a bit like DIY, if you do something a little bit different it can make the stress get better. It’s about being more honest with yourself, if you keep pushing yourself, for instance drinking too much, not getting enough sleep, what use are you to others? You just have to start being more aware of yourself and know yourself better.”

1. Wpradio.co.uk is a web based broadcaster supported by all parties. Latest web stats show that in May 2010 we had our highest audience ever with 3,913 visitors, there were over 1,000 more visitors in June and July too compared to last year and even August increased. We don’t share our content with others in order to inflate our stats, you have to visit our website to listen to our content.

2. Our web stats show that our visitors are loyal, they return, tune in for some time and to more than one item. We have doubled our audience in a year. In July we published our Top Ten podcasts for that month. The top 8 all had over 100 downloads per podcast. Shirley Williams is hugely popular with 777 listeners to one podcast! The Oona King diaries are proving popular too.

3. wpradio also carries international content and has interviews with women MEPs in Europe, and women politicians in Africa and the Middle East.

4. Our supporters include Theresa May MP, Jo Swinson MP, Harriet Harman MP,and many other female politicians listed on our site. Jackie Ashley, of the Guardian, is our Chair.

5. The British Library archives all the interviews on wpradio.co.uk in its new web collection.

6. For more information contact Boni Sones OBE on 07703 716961.