Tokyo >> In what is believed to be a first in Japan, a prestigious national women’s university announced it will open doors in 2020 to people who were born male at birth but identify as female, saying it’s a natural decision that takes gender diversity into account.
The move by Ochanomizu University is expected to accelerate national discussions regarding admissions at other women’s universities, which currently limit enrollment to those listed as women on their family registry.
“We want to accept people who sincerely wish to study at Ochanomizu University. It’s a natural thing to do in a society that embraces diversity,” President Kimiko Murofushi said July 11 at the Tokyo university.
Ochanomizu — which was established in 1875 as the nation’s first higher education institution for women — said it will change its admission criteria on gender to include those listed as male on their family registry but who identify as female, Murofushi said.
The university will work toward making the campus transgender- friendly, discussing matters such as the facilities necessary and support needed for students to lead comfortable lives on campus.
“We hope this move will lead to realizing a society where ‘diverse women’ can participate in every field and fully exercise their abilities and individuality,” Murofushi said.
After the committee decided to open the university’s doors to transgender individuals, Ochanomizu held a number of meetings to explain the planned admission policy changes to students, parents, staff and graduates. So far, it has received no negative response, Murofushi said.
Tsuda University and Japan Women’s University have said they are discussing a change to their admission policies to accept transgender students.