HUNDREDS have gathered at Holyrood in recognition of International Women’s Day with the theme of “inspiring inclusion”.

The event, organised by the Scottish Women’s Convention (SWC) and the Scottish Parliament, was chaired by Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone and featured speakers ranging from politicians to school pupils.

Around 350 were expected to attend the annual gathering, which was held ahead of the global day which celebrates the achievements of women on Friday, March 8.

Those taking part in the Holyrood event included Deputy First Minister Shona Robison and a cross-party panel of MSPs.

READ MORE: International Women's Day: Newspaper to be produced by all-woman team

Julia Mattes and Maisi De Pellette, two pupils from Our Lady’s High School in Cumbernauld, shared their poems based on women’s rights with Jesimiel Rivas, a school pupil from Drumchapel High School also sharing her poetry.

Speaking ahead of the event, Johnstone said: “The Scottish Parliament has been part of recognising and celebrating the role of women on International Women’s Day since 2007.

“This year’s global theme has a sharp focus on inclusion, celebrating women’s achievement and recognising that there is still work to be done to ensure that every woman at home and across the world has equality.

The National:

“Our gathering will show what can be achieved when women collectively come together to inspire change.”

Agnes Tolmie, chair of the Scottish Women’s Convention, said: “This year, our event is focused on how human rights are women’s rights and how we can inspire inclusion by understanding how these rights play a part in our everyday lives.

“Women in Scotland take this opportunity to reach out in solidarity to women across the world who are in a struggle against poverty, war and violence.

“We are proud of being an organisation that listens to women and ensures their voices are threaded throughout all the work we do.

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“Women make up more than 50% of the Scottish population and we have still not achieved full equality.

“Against this background, we are inspired and celebrate the wonderful work done by our women in Scotland.”

The National will be marking International Women's Day on Friday by putting together a newspaper produced entirely by women reporters, contributors, editors and columnists.

The idea has been heavily inspired by Lesley Riddoch's legendary Scotswoman special edition of 1995, in which all editorial decisions were taken by women and elements parodied the tokenistic "women's pages" of the era with "men's pages".

But since then, no newspaper has been produced exclusively by women.