News FocusACADEMIC HARASSMENT

Women Faculty Battle Japan's Koza System

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Science  02 Feb 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5505, pp. 817-818
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5505.817

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Summary

TOKYO-- After a hollow court victory last fall, a Japanese researcher is stepping up her fight to improve conditions for women in academia. She and a small band of supporters are setting up a nonprofit organization to tackle the issue of academic harassment, which many women faculty members say has marginalized them at institutions throughout the country. The root of the problem is the hierarchical structure of the "koza" system, in which professors hold near-absolute power over their subordinates.