IN celebration of International Women’s Day next Sunday (March 8) the Eastgate Theatre is screening a remarkable collection of short films that tell the stories of the women of Scotland from the reign of King Edward to the rule of Margaret Thatcher.

During the 20th century, Scotland’s women lived through major social change, challenging their roles in society and fighting for equality: at work and at home, from classroom to croft, and from girlhood to motherhood.

Their rich and varied voices are heard in Her Century – a timely collection of archive films, curated by the National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive, that provides a fascinating glimpse into the work, school and home lives of Scottish women.

The films are screened together for the first time in a touring programme full of contemporary relevance. Featuring work from female Scottish filmmakers, including Sarah Erulkar, Brigid ‘Budge’ Cooper and Jenny Gilbertson, these rarely seen films follow women’s histories through a century of filmmaking in Scotland.

As well as showing how a woman was ‘meant’ to be, these films also highlight a determined resistance, and feature the faces and voices of pioneers, schoolgirls and housewives.

The films are, in turn, funny, astonishing, inspirational and aspirational. Highlights include Male and Female from 1980 (a public heath film featuring teenagers discussing their views on gender roles), Herring Harvest at Yarmouth from 1910 (an early film showing the ‘Scotch lassies’ hard at work gutting and packing fish far from home) and A Day in the Home from 1951 (an educational film for domestic science pupils about the ‘proper’ role of the housewife and mother in post-war Scotland).

Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist, once commented: “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”

International Women’s Day exists to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.

Her Century: Scottish Women on Film screens at 7.30pm on Sunday, March 8.

Tickets are £10, available from Box Office on 01721 725777, or online.