In mathematics, the gender gap favouring boys in early grades gradually disappears, according to a new publication by UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report. The report calls for us to think harder about gender inequality and the barriers that still hold girls back from realising their potential.
Deepening the debate on those still left behind, an annual UNESCO gender report, analysed data from 120 countries in primary and secondary education to offer a global picture. The findings show that in the early years, boys perform better than girls in mathematics but, this gender gap disappears later.
This research confirms that the gender gap in learning has closed even in the poorest countries. And in some countries, the gap is now reversed. For example, by grade 8, the gap is in favour of girls in mathematics by 7 percentage points in Malaysia, by 3 points in Cambodia, by 1.7 points in Congo and by 1.4 points in the Philippines.
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