In “The Tokyo Medical University entrance exam scandal: lessons learned”, an article published on Wheeler International Journal for Educational Integrity in 2018, author talked about some actual problems, which caused by gender discrimination, still keep impacting Japanese modern universities education. Tokyo Medical University (TMU) was reported that it kept using ignoble methods to control the numbers of female students over a decade. For female applicants, TMU used a “score-lowering scheme”, which means TMU abates female applicants scores but not because they are lacking of academic capabilities. In the 2018 second stage entrance exam of TMU, the acceptance rate of female applicants only reached 2.2%, which is severely lower than male acceptance rate (8.8%) (Tokyo Medical University n.d.c).
Not only the scandal about TMU shows that gender discrimination existing in Japanese medical profession, other verified data like female doctors only account for 21% of the total number of Japanese doctors, and this number even can’t reach the half of OECD average number (45%) (McCurry, 2018). But in other academic fields, universities don’t show discrimination and in some particular field like engineering field, female applicants even get higher acceptance rate than males (Murakoshi and Sano, 2018). Author also gave some suggestions to help abate, even eliminate these unfair problems happened in Japanese medical field and medical universities.
This essay will focus on the gender discrimination problems in Japan, which is not only exist in medical area, but also very common in other workplaces, and give responses from three clear and specific perspectives. I’ll talk about the reasons why female workers be discriminated in medical area, the current situation of female workers and give some practical suggestions on how to solve these problems.
The first point I want to focus is relative with the critical information author gave. Author mentioned that managers often threaten female employees give up their position, even give up their jobs after these female employees married or have kids (Wheeler, 2018). The most important reason for managers to dismiss women after they have family life is because once females get married or have children, they will pay much more attention on personal lives. According to a research in 2009, the time allocations of women determine that their working efficiency and productivity in working hour are lower than males ( Verheul I., Carree M., & Thurik R., 2009 ). The term of maternal leaves in Japan is 6 to 8 weeks and during these days female employees can still get maximum 2/3 of their basic salaries (JMC). Japanese maternal leaves policy force companies still need pay for female workers who are not at their positions, in contrast, American females get longer maternal leaves about 12 weeks, but without salaries (Lewis, 2018). It causes managers in Japanese corporations usually give pressure to female employees or replaces female employees after their come back to work (Wheeler, 2018).
Males can put almost all of their attention into their careers, therefore employers prefer male employees because their utilization is higher than female workers. In contrast, female employees have inextricable family affair to dispose once they get married or have children. For the medical field and the essence of medical professions, doctors even have a higher requirement than any other jobs because they often need keep concentrating on high-intensive operations for long periods. There is even a belief in Japan’s society shows that most of people think female physicians can’t keep their careers as long as male physicians (The Japan Times 2018a; Tokyo Shimbun 2018). All these factors result in the gender discrimination, which is not only in medical area, but also exist in other workplaces.
The current statement of female workers is still not positive. According to Tanaka and Johnes, the wage differential between males and females is extremely high, which is approximately 85%. It is much higher than the wage differentials in America and Russia (35% to 40%). And 34.3 percent of wage differential is because of because of “discriminating factors” (Geraint J., Yasuhide T., 2008). Although Japan’s gender wage differential had reduced between 1993 to 2000, Japanese female workers still face many discrimination (Geraint J., Yasuhide T., 2008). In a latest academic research, author describes that the employment rate of Japanese female doctors fall to 76% after they are older than age 36. And only 30% of females can return to full-time employment and the most common reason why females physicians can’t go back to their work is that they don’t have enough abilities to balance their children rearing and work well (Matsui, 2019). And according to some doctors who was investigated by researchers, they think dispose private affair well and do their jobs in a good statement is actually difficult and “extravagant”. For these female doctors who have children even be discriminated by female co-workers, too. “I met a married female doctor with children while I worked at the university hospital, and I didn’t like the way she was working. There was always an air of not being fully committed, and I could tell that people saw her in that way too.”, one female doctor said to researcher (Matsui, 2019). These social basic stereotypes and realistic problems always impede female doctors and females work in other fields get higher position and more incomes.
So the way to solve these problems is actually have high connection with social attitude toward females workers. The government should establish a integrated policy to prohibit gender discrimination happen in workplaces, especially in medical field. The employers who violate female workers rights and incomes should be punished by some financial punishment like high fine after their discrimination be verified. Japanese citizens also need to change their stereotypes of female workers. After this efforts made by both people and government, gender discrimination will be reduced in workplaces, even be eliminated.