Meiji University also opened a dedicated Women’s Department in 1929, which offered both law and commerce courses, thus facilitating women’s entry to the legal profession from an early stage.Numerous legal professionals, including such luminaries as the first female lawyers in Japan, namely Ai Kume, Yoshiko Mibuchi, and Masako Nakata, as well as Yoshie Tateishi, a member of the inaugural graduating class (later, Professor of the School of Law, Meiji University), graduated from the Women’s Department established by Hideo Yokota (President of Meiji University at its foundation), Shigetoshi Matsumoto (Dean of the Women’s Department), and Shigeto Hozumi (Member of the Steering Committee for the Women's Department). The department became the Women’s College after the war, offering women’s education in social sciences that was quite distinct from education to be “a good wife and wise mother.”
Some eighty years later, we established the Promotion Committee for Gender Equality and Diversity in April 2009 to promote gender equality and diversity throughout the environment that our faculty members use.The committee clarified a variety of issues through wide-ranging discussions, such as about "childcare", "nursing", "human rights", and "diversity management", and in January 2014, advocated (interim summary) the necessity for the following: (1) Increase recruitment of women to the decision-making managerial level of the organization, (2) Implementation of various activities to change and heighten awareness to promote gender equality and diversity, and (3) Promote the increase in momentum related to gender equality and diversity in cooperation with international measures.
As of May 1, 2014, the percentages of female full-time faculty members across the entire university, female full-time faculty members in the Science Departments and Graduate School, and female students at the Graduate School were below the average for universities in Japan.In addition, it has been clarified that many points need to be improved from the perspectives of gender equality and diversity, and work-life balance, such as promotion to support the achieving of both research and life events based on a questionnaire conducted among female researchers at the university in June 2014 concerning gender equality and diversity.
As a catalyst to improve such status, in June 2014, we applied for the MEXT Program to Support Research Activities of Female Researchers (Organizations) (hereinafter, the “Support Program”), as part of their Grant Program of Funds for the Development of Human Resources in Science and Technology in fiscal 2014, and this was adopted in October 2014.Grasping this opportunity, in February 2015, we established the Center for Gender Equality and Diversity (hereinafter, “the Center”) following an evolutionary reorganization of the Gender Equality Promotion Committee, placed the promotion office for the Program to Support Research Activities of Female Researchers (hereinafter, the “Promotion Office”) under the Center, established a system for quick decision-making and concrete implementation by the Promotion Office, and energetically promoted gender equality and diversity with support for female researchers’ research activities. Although the Support Program came to an end in March 2017, systems to support the researchers, such as the “Research supporter system,” that were established as part of the Support Program, and measures including heightening awareness are still in place as ongoing measures.
Currently, we promote gender equality and diversity in line with the “Meiji University Basic Plan for Promoting Gender Equality" (Plan period: Fiscal 2016 ~ 2019) that was established as the guidelines to promoting gender equality and diversity.