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Merchiston is pleased to support International Woman’s Day today, and openly promotes equality between men and women throughout all aspects of learning and in the community.

On this significant day, the School has allowed a dress down day and encourage all pupils and staff to wear something purple, as a symbol of their support, and to help educate our pupils on how to play their part in advancing gender equality.

From mothers to country leaders, our pupils are inspired by many women, describing women as powerful, compassionate, devoted and successful. We asked some of our LVI Form boys to write about a woman who inspires them:

The woman that inspires me is the Queen. In my opinion, the sheer devotion towards her country and the fact she put aside her personal desires for a lifelong job is truly commendable. In addition, the era in which she reigned up until this point also shows her will and ability to put her country before anything else. 

The woman who undoubtedly inspires me and whom I look up to on a daily basis is Jessica Ennis-Hill.
Her personality and physicality make her unbeatable on the athletics track, however, within this is a deeper character. Jessica Ennis-Hill is a woman who has the goal to not just be a champion (which she amazingly was for ten years) but to be a role model for the youth of Britain. It is this belief in collective power and making a difference that sets her aside. Her bubbly character, honest and grounded attitude ensure her success off the running track, yet also make her an example of resilience in adversity for all, by coming back from injuries even stronger than before. Whether it is juggling motherhood with training or winning the 800m in front of millions at home, she can do it all. Simply seeing Jess's success encouraged me and gave the confidence to throw myself at sport once.
Whether you're a beginner or a pro, it's hard not to feel inspired by her.
Combining all of her attributes together highlights how Jessica Ennis-Hill will not just want to be remembered as an athlete but as a figure whom those can look up to and ask, "what would Jess do?"

The obvious choice of a powerful woman in a young man’s life would be his mother. This woman would, and should, get the most votes in my personal opinion; however as much as I love my mother, I wish not to only isolate her alone but to involve all mothers across the large scale of the globe. The unique aspect of the relationship between a mother and her child is how often a child is given a choice, a question. If you could change your mother, would you? All the difficulty of this question is completely outweighed by the simplicity of the truth; No!
There are now 4.9 million working mothers with dependent children and around 1.7 million single-parent families in the UK. The harsh reality of this figure is that nine out of ten of these families are headed by a single mother, which therefore demonstrates the stresses, the hours of work and the constant worry in which these powerful women endure for us. Now, of course, I could have picked Michelle Obama, Queen Elizabeth II, JK Rowling, Melinda Gates or Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and yet they all have something in common; they are all mothers. These powerful women are not only public figures but also private figures of compassion as well. All we can say in return is THANK YOU!

An inspirational female role model in my life is my mother. She has taught me life lessons, such as; to always show respect, no matter how hard, and to hold my head high, especially through adversity. She put her career on hold to raise my brother and I without expecting anything in return which taught my brothers and I the rewards of sacrifice. My mother never had anything given to her easily in life. She was expected to finish school at the age of 16 and to go work as a store clerk, however she decided to go to university, against the norm, and earned herself a Bachelor of Science in Podiatry. She thrived in her career and finally took the brave step to sacrifice her own goals and aspiration to help her family achieve their own. My mother has carved so many opportunities for herself and her family and we are all forever grateful that she has.

James, Archie, Findlay and Joshua LVI Form