Education - Tokyo Medical School Discriminated Against Women
Tokyo Medical University secretly deducted points from the entrance exams taken by female applicants to keep them out of med school because officials believed women take too much leave from the job.
"I can't forgive (what the institution is said to have) done to people who studied hard to get into the university, hoping to become doctors," said Dr. Ruriko Tsushima, an executive board member at the Japan Joint Association of Medical Professional Women. "It shouldn't happen in a democratic country that is supposed to provide equal educational opportunities."
School officials routinely deducted ten to 20 points off of entrance tests taken by women in order to ensure women never made up more than 30 percent of enrollment. The practice likely began around 2010 and was the incredibly misguided and sexist method of avoiding a future doctors' shortage: The medical college believed female doctors often resign or take long leave after getting married or giving birth, leading to a shortfall.
The scandal was uncovered by attorneys conducting an audit of the school because of another scandal in which the two top Tokyo Medical University officials were caught bribing a government official. The president and chairman enrolled the official's son in exchange for a government subsidy. Both men have been indicted.
Other women doctors in Japan suspect more medical universities are engaging in similar practices.
"Generally speaking, unjustly discriminating against female applicants in an entrance exam cannot be accepted at all," said education minister Yoshimasa Hayashi.