Girls all over the world lag behind boys in mathematical skills, and sexism and gender stereotypes are among the main contributing factors. This is revealed in the recent Unicef report Solving the Equation: Helping Girls and Boys Learn Mathematics, which presents new analyses of data from over 100 countries and territories.
According to the report, boys are up to 1.3 times more likely to acquire mathematical skills than girls.
The publication explains that learning mathematical skills strengthens memory, comprehension and analysis, which in turn improves the children's ability to create.
An analysis of data from 34 low- and middle-income countries presented in the report shows that while girls lag behind boys, three-quarters of children in the fourth year of school do not acquire basic numeracy skills.
Family wealth is also one of the determining factors: "schoolchildren from the richest families are 1.8 times more likely to acquire mathematical skills by the fourth year of school than children from the poorest families".
The report is available on the Unicef website, in the dedicated news item.