When the System Falls Short: A qualitative analysis of challenges and solutions to the problem of violence against women in Norway from the perspective of public management
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Despite a high level of gender equality and fulfilment of women’s rights and human rights in general, violence against women - particularly rape and domestic violence - remains a national public health problem in Norway. Based on theories of public management I investigate why the system of public management falls short when it comes to violence against women, and also what different societal actors suggest as solutions to the problem. The efficiency of the system depends upon its accessibility - the degree to which clients come into contact with the system and make use of the services it provides. By using qualitative data generated through interviews with politicians and professionals who work on the field, I argue that the accessibility of the system is low for victims of rape and domestic violence due to 1) certain characteristics of the system, 2) a high threshold between the victim and the system and 3) challenges with the interaction between the victim and the system. When it comes to the suggested solutions, I find that they could have a positive effect seen from the perspective of public management. The informants focus upon the importance of more crosssectoral cooperation, the need for changing some rules, a different approach on who should be the primary client of the system, the importance of working with children and with children in mind, and improvements in attitudes, knowledge and understanding among both professionals and people in general.