OKAYAMA – A man who applied to a women’s university in the city of Fukuoka filed for damages Monday, arguing the public college’s rejection of his application amounts to gender discrimination and is unconstitutional.
In the complaint filed with the Fukuoka District Court, the man in his 20s is demanding that Fukuoka Women’s University accept his application and pay ¥660,000 in compensation.
It is the first time that a lawsuit has been filed against a national or public women’s university questioning its constitutionality, according to the man’s lawyer.
The complaint says the man, who wants to train to become a dietitian, applied last November to take the entrance exam for the school’s department of nutrition and health science.
But the university refused to accept his application, saying it only admits women, the complaint said.
Fukuoka Women’s University is the only national or public university in the prefecture that offers courses to obtain certification as a nutritionist and the qualification needed to take the exam to become a registered dietitian.
“A public university is a public entity that is being maintained by taxes,” the man said in his complaint. “If my application is rejected, the path to become a dietitian would be narrow as I will be forced to go to a university outside the prefecture or a private college.”
The man argues the university’s decision violates the Constitution, which stipulates the principle of equality and the right to receive an education.
The university declined to comment, saying it had not reviewed the lawsuit.
Currently there are four national or public women’s universities in Japan. Apart from Fukuoka Women’s University, they are Ochanomizu University in Tokyo, Nara Women’s University in the city of Nara, and Gunma Prefectural Women’s University in Tamamura, Gunma Prefecture.