NEARLY 200 schoolgirls gathered at Glasgow City Chambers to celebrate International Women's Day 2018.

They took afternoon tea in the company of successful women from across the city - from politicians to activists and academics.

The celebration hailing women's achievements is just one of many in Glasgow this week to mark the worldwide event.

Susan Quinn, EIS Local Association Secretary, organised the event.

She said: "International Women's Day has been celebrated since 1910.

"Now, more than ever, there's a strong call to action to press forward and progress gender parity."

Glasgow Girls Emma Clifford Bell and Roza Salih told their story of fighting for the rights of asylum seekers.

Drumming group SheBoom! performed, as did the Carmyle sing and sigh choir.

Blessing Afolayan, from Castlemilk, said she wants to study law at university and become a human rights lawyer.

The 16-year-old said: "I think that we still need International Women's Day and that it is really important because people don't register women's rights as important.

"We have been hearing so much recently about sexual harassment and men believe they can do anything they want."

She added: "I want to be a human right's lawyer to tackle the problem of human rights abuses - and also to kick asses."

Blessing's classmate at Castlemilk High School, Lauren Smith, said she plans to study business and marketing.

Blessing, Lauren and fellow Castlemillk High fifth year pupils Abby Stewart, joined a table of primary seven girls to talk about their aspirations for the future.

Describing her ambitions to the younger girls, Lauren, 16, said: "You know Alan Sugar? I want to be like Alan Sugar."

Joining the teenagers at the table for afternoon tea were primary seven pupils Hayley Cameron, Abbie Welsh and Eilidh McGarry, all from Garrowhill Primary.

Sarah Martin and Sophie McLeod, both from Caldercuilt Primary, were also at the table.

Among them the girls had ambitions to be a vet, an ice skater and a child care worker.

Hayley said: "The Glasgow Girls were inspiring, they were my favourite bit.

"I'm looking forward to getting back to class to tell everyone about our afternoon."

Sophie added: "At school the boys and girls all mix together but we still have some divides like the boys all play football and the girls do gymnastics or dancing.

"But we have have the same chances as the boys."

Maureen McKenna, Executive Director of Education at Glasgow City Council, told the girls she had faced discrimination in her career for being a woman - but she never let it hold her back.

She added: "Strong, powerful and successful women have been celebrated over the centuries for a whole variety of incredible achievement.

"But all women need to be celebrated - and never more so than in the 21st century when more women have a voice - and know how to use it.

"You just have to look at Glasgow City Council to see how many successful women are senior managers.

"I want every girl in Glasgow to feel empowered and be the best they can be."

Meanwhile, Glasgow Women’s Library, revealed a new limited edition collection by leading artists and designers.

Staff of Glasgow Women's Library showed off provocative and colourful products released to celebrate women and the Library.

They range from limited edition T Shirts, jewellery and posing mugs designed by Sally Hackett in collaboration with Anna Lewandowska-Mirska.

And to mark the occasion of International Women's Day, Inspector Lynda Lang, the longest serving female police officer at British Transport Police, spoke about having served with the force for 30 years and 5 months.

The inspector, who has served for more than 30 years and is now due to retire, said: “I’ll be honest - it hasn’t been plain sailing. Disappointingly, I’ve been the victim of sexist behaviour of male officers and the public.

"I can say at times I considered my position and whether it was worthwhile to remain a police officer, but it definitely was.

"I was adamant a few men wouldn’t scar my experience, confidence or ambition. I stayed in the police service, fighting this misogyny and challenging ignorance.

“Despite the challenges, I’d go back and do it all again."