The report highlights the connection between women's participation, an independent civil society and sustainable peace and democracy. The situation is not unique; the pattern is the same in most conflict-affected regions throughout the world. The report describes women's organisations' concrete strategies to create a democratic and peaceful society, in urban as well as rural areas. It shows what support and acknowledgement from the international community means for civil society. But the report also highlights problems that arise when international actors take over and marginalise national and local organisations.