STROUD High School students have launched a campaign calling for greater respect of young girls and women in line with International Women’s Day.

Libby Shirnia, 14, Maddy O'Dwyer, 13, and Hannah Cox, 14, supported by their classmates and teachers at Stroud High, penned the letter in an aim to “help boys and young men of the world understand how their actions affect us.”

The letter, which has now been signed by more than 700 people, has several key points: “We want to be respected and not pressured into sending pictures to you or receiving pictures from you.

“We want to be respected and not pressured into sending pictures to you or receiving pictures from you.

“We want our relationships based on fun, friendship and trust.

“We want to feel happy with ourselves and our bodies.

International Women’s Day is held on March 8 every year and dates back to 1909, this year’s theme was ‘Be bold for change’.

This campaign follows on from a social media free week led by pupils after evidence showed over usage was linked to mental health issues, their campaign raised more than £1,000.

Deputy head Cindi Pride told the SNJ: “This is an open letter from our girls and young women, to boys and young men everywhere explaining how they feel about sexting and the impact of pornography on their relationships.

“Some of our pupils came to me and asked ‘could you please host an assembly to advise people that this behaviour is not ok?’

“The long-term implications of this girls sending naked pictures to boys are terrible.

“We do want to make clear that we are very aware that it is not all men and boys who treat women this way, but we know we know the power of peer pressure.

“The strength of feeling we have seen from parents, brothers and young men has been great, we can’t believe the amount of support this campaign has received – and the distance it has reached.

“Our pupils didn’t start this campaign just to help their friends, they did it to help everyone worldwide.

“I’m so immensely proud of all it has already achieved, we only launched it yesterday!

“The world is very different when you are 13 or 14, it feels huge and you feel untouchable –  but many of our young girls feel vulnerable.

“We must encourage young girls to speak out and stand their ground, to use this open letter as their armour.”

Speaking to the Guardian, she said: “One of the things that we’re working on is empowering young women to feel they can say no to requests for images, or anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.

“Girls are being bombarded with images sent from boys – very often completely unrequested – and they are being pressed to send images of themselves, which they clearly don’t want to do, but they come in for a lot of abuse and ridicule if they say no.”

Sandi Toksvig, women’s activist, comedian and host of BBC quiz show QI, has been an active role model for the school, she wrote them a letter in support of their campaign.

She wrote: “I just wanted to wish you all a very happy International Women's Day.

“I think the campaign you are doing around your real and digital lives is wonderful and so important.

“We need to make sure that the issues affecting girls and women are not just talked about on one day of the year.

“We need sustained campaigns like yours so very well done!”

People are asked to sign the letter to pledge: “I am supporting girls and women everywhere in taking control of their lives - both real and digital.”

You are encouraged to share the link to the open letter as a rebuttal to those disrespecting women.

To read the letter in full and add your signature click here .