Gender Discrimination Scandal at Tokyo Medical University

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Updated: Mar 14, 2023
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Recently, a scandal about the admissions of Tokyo Medical University was reported which shocked Japanese society. According to International Journal for Educational Integrity, Tokyo Medical University “”artificially tampered with entrance examination results”” in order to limit the number of female students to be admitted. The university has lowered the entrance examination scores of female medical students since 2011, after 2010 results showed that the number of successful medical students is increasing. Since then, the university has been trying to keep the proportion of women enrolled in the University at around 30% a year.

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Some people believe that female medical students do not intend to engage in medicine for a long time. Marriage and childbirth may require long maternity leave or even separation. TMU official fear that will adversely affect their affiliated hospitals. Female doctor early departure will lead to a shortage of hospital doctors, which increase the workload and pressure of the rest of the doctors. According to this logic, it is determined that the number of female applicants entering universities must be limite. In 2018, the proportion of women receiving the first round of testing was 14.5%, compared with 18.9% of men. In the second and final stage, only 2.9% of female applicants were admitted, compared with 8.8% of male applicants.?The Tokyo Medical University entrance exam scandal: lessons learned. 2018)

Gender discrimination in Japan’s medical profession has always been serious and this time Tokyo Medical University even brought this unhealthy trend into college. This trend seems to be particularly prominent in Japan’s medical community. Female doctors account for about 21% of the total number of doctors in Japan, which is lower than the OECD average of 45%. Medical school has always been expensive in most countries around the world also in Japan. A medical student in Japan costs about $68,000 a year, ?Government cuts off subsidies to Tokyo Medical University over entrance exam discrimination. Jan 22, 2019) which is very expensive. However, for new entrants whose entrance exam scores rank among the top 35. The University exempts them from basic tuition fees and extra education fees in the first year. Resulting in a reduction of their tuition fees by 500,000 yen. This is a significant reduction in costs, but it may be very difficult for women applicants whose scores have fallen by as much as 20%. Men and women should be equal to enter the University and study equally. It is absolutely intolerable to think that women’s unique gender differences make women medical students naturally inferior.

In fact, gender discrimination has been very serious in Japanese society. Since junior and senior high schools in Japan. Boys generally have a kind of “”male chauvinism”” and do not know how to communicate with girls equally. Of course, there is the influence of “”male and female schools”” in Japan, but its essence is traditional Japanese idea of “”male dominated outside, female dominated inside”” and it still influence the modern society of Japan. There is a “”wife club”” composed of the wives of bank clerks in the Japanese drama Naoko Banzawa. The importance of the wife in the “”wife club”” is also determined by the husband’s level in the company. It’s amazing to see a group of wives get together to exchange ideas on how to better “”serve”” their husbands.

There is still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in the workplace. According to Japanese government data, only 63% of women go out to work after they married. It is the lowest proportion in developed countries. After giving birth to their first child, 70% of women become full-time mothers. In the United States, that figure is 30%. According to Kyodo News Agency, Japan’s NPO legal entity “”Maternity Discrimination Net”” conducted a survey of 158 women who worked as informal employees during pregnancy. The results showed that 36.1% of the respondents said they had been forced to quit their jobs due to maternity discrimination and eventually resigned or were not renewed. It has restricted the development of Japan’s productive since the majority of women need to stay at home and can’t go out to work. In response to Japan’s current development dilemma, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that he was advancing his “”women’s economics”” program, with the goal of increasing the proportion of women in the labor market. Let’s see if this policy can promote Japan’s development and liberate its productive forces. The Japanese government and people are trying to promote the implementation of the idea of equality between men and women, which is the change we can see at this stage. People have seen some Japanese views on gender discrimination in Japan. They think this is due to their ignorance of Japanese culture. They believe that Japanese women’s average life expectancy is the first in the world and they will not live so long if women were discriminated against. I think discrimination is not terrible. What terrible is that people don’t know they are discriminating! If you are a Japanese woman and you don’t think you were discriminated against, the premise is that you don’t want to do something in society and get recognized by the society. If you want to be successful, you will feel naked gender discrimination.”

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Gender Discrimination Scandal at Tokyo Medical University. (2021, Apr 05). Retrieved from