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Top university cooks exam results to curb entry of women to medicine

Officials at prestigious Tokyo Medical University allegedly tampered with female applicants’ exam results in a bid to reduce the number of women in medicine. The Independent reports that this is according to news report that said that the university has promised to investigate after the country’s biggest daily newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, claimed scores had been changed to make sure no more than 30% of successful candidates were female.

According to the report, an unnamed source described the unofficial policy as a “necessary evil”, introduced over fears too many women would later leave the profession to get married and start a family. “Many female students who graduate end up leaving the medical practice to give birth and raise children,” the source said.

Another leading Japanese paper, The Asahi Simbun, claimed university officials began deliberately altering results back in 2010, when 40% of successful applicants were women. This year’s exams saw only 30 women accepted at Tokyo Medical University, while 141 men won a place there. According to university insiders with knowledge of the scheme, the doctoring of tests was carefully planned – a specific coefficient was used to artificially lower the scores of all women applying to the institution.

The report says employment quality has become a major issue in Japan, where prime minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to create a society in which “women can shine” and have the opportunity to advance into top jobs. Yet recent World Economic Forum (WEF) research shows only 12.4% of politicians, officials and managers in Japan are women.

Japanese citizens reacted with outrage on social media at the allegations of rigged exam results. The report says one posted: “Women are told they have to give birth; if they don’t, they’re mocked as being ‘unproductive’, but then again, just the possibility that they might give birth is used to cut their scores. What’s a woman supposed to do?”

[link url="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/tokyo-medical-exam-results-female-doctors-grades-changed-medicine-a8475966.html"]The Independent report[/link]
[link url="http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GGGR_2017.pdf"]WEF 2017 report[/link]

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