Celebrating Scotland's Women

To celebrate International Women's Day, we've rounded up just a small selection of some of Scotland's most successful and influential women. This year's theme is #BeBoldForChange, a call to help forge a better working world – a more inclusive, gender equal world.

To celebrate International Women's Day, we've rounded up just a small selection of some of Scotland's most successful and influential women. This year's theme is #BeBoldForChange, a call to help forge a better working world - a more inclusive, gender equal world.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Current First Minister of Scotland and the Leader of the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon is the first woman to hold either position. She began her journey into politics at the age of 16, having already become a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. In 2007, former First Minister Alex Salmond appointed her as Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, until she took the reins in 2014.

Sturgeon won the Scottish Politician of the Year Award in 2008, 2012 and 2014, and the Donald Dewar Debater of the Year Award In 2004, 2008 and 2011.

Annie Lennox

Scottish singer, songwriter and political activist Annie Lennox achieved international success in the 1980s as one half of the Eurythmics. With eight Brit Awards, including six for Best British Female Artist, she has won more than any other female artist. In addition to her career as a musician, Lennox is renowned for her work to raise funds and awareness for women and children in Africa who are affected by HIV/AIDS. She was appointed OBE in 2011 for her campaigning and humanitarian work.

Martha Payne

Martha Payne, from Argyle, is a Scottish schoolgirl who raised over £140K to help feed children in some of the world's poorest communities. In 2012, at the age of nine, Martha began blogging about her school meals, a project which picked up recognition in national media following support from chef and school meals campaigner Jamie Oliver. This resulted in revenue which she donated to charity Mary's Meals, an organisation which provides free school meals to thousands of underprivileged and impoverished children daily. The money she has helped to raise has gone towards projects including the build of a new kitchen at the 1,963-pupil Lirangwe Primary School in Blantyre, Malawi.

Eilidh Child

Eilidh Child is a Scottish track and field athlete who specialises in the 400 metres hurdles, holding the Scottish record with 54.22 sec. She represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and has twice won a Commonwealth Games silver medal representing Scotland. Eilidh won her first major title and gold medal at the 2014 European Championships, where she also won bronze in the 4 x 400 metres relay.

Nicola Benedetti

Nicola Benedetti is a Scottish classical violinist who has played with the UK's most prestigious orchestras in some of its most spectacular venues. In 2004, at the age of 16, she won the BBC Young Musician of the Year award, and later agreed to a £1M six-album recording contract with Universal Music Group, the largest music corporation in the world. She performed The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond on her violin at the Opening Ceremony of the XX Commonwealth Games.

Erraid Davies

At the age of 13, Shetland swimmer Erraid became the youngest person to compete for Scotland in the XX Commonwealth Games, achieving a bronze medal in the para-sport women's 100m breaststroke. Erraid was diagnosed with Perthes disease, a hip problem, at the age of four and was in a wheelchair for another four years. She took up swimming to stay fit and swam her first mile before the age of six.

Emeli Sande

Top Scottish recording artist Emeli SandÌ has three UK number-one singles under her belt and her debut album spent seven weeks at number one, becoming the best-selling album of 2012 in the UK, with over 1 million sales. In 2012, she was selected to perform in both the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the London Olympics. Raised in Aberdeen, Emeli studied medicine at the University of Glasgow, where she obtained a degree in neuroscience before she made it big in the music industry.

Lorraine Kelly

One the most familiar faces on TV, Lorraine Kelly has presented some of the UK's most popular breakfast shows. She now hosts her own morning lifestyle and entertainment show 'Lorraine', saying good morning to the nation. In 2004, she was elected as the first female Rector of the University of Dundee, a position she held until 2007, and was appointed OBE in 2012 for her services to charity and the armed forces. In 2014, Kelly received a special Scottish BAFTA award honouring her 30 year television career.

Karen Gillan

Hailing from the Highlands, Model turned actress Karen Gillan won the much-coveted role of the Doctor's assistant in the long-running science fiction television series Doctor Who. She has since appeared on the Silver Screen in Marvel smash hit Guardians of the Galaxy, alongside Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel.

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