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  • Med School Altered Test Results to Fail Women Students

    A Tokyo Medical University has changed the entrance exam results of women students since 2011, to keep the female student population low. The reason? Supposedly, women tend to quit as doctors after starting families, causing hospital staffing shortages, media reports said Thursday.

    On Friday night, dozens of people gathered outside the university to protest the unfair treatment. Some of the signs read, “Protest against sexist entrance exams!” and “You trampled on the efforts and lives of women who trusted and chose you.”

    Originally reported by the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, other Japanese media, including NHK and Kyodo News, also reported claims of exam manipulation.

    Tokyo Medical University

    Tokyo Medical University

    Yoshiko Maeda, head of the Japan Medical Women’s Association, said in a statement on the group’s Facebook page, “Instead of worrying about women quitting jobs, they should do more to create an environment where women can keep working. And we need working style reform, which is not just to prevent overwork deaths, but to create a workplace where everyone can perform to the best of their ability regardless of gender.”

    In Japan, women account for more than 40% of the overall workforce, but the share of female doctors has been stuck at about 30% for more than 20 years. The slow progress in the medical field has prompted speculation among some doctors about possible widespread interference in the school admissions process.

    Many female graduates face discrimination in hiring and pay in Japan. Lack of support in child-rearing together with long working hours often force them to give up their careers. As ages and birth rates remain low in Japan, many workplaces including hospitals are chronically short-staffed.

    Image: The Expat's Guide to Japan

    Photo credit: Piron Guillaume



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