During war and armed conflicts, particularly internal ones, civil society is usually represented to a great extent by women and women's organisations, responsible for holding the societies together and ensuring the safety for children and the elderly. Consequently, as women experience the immediate consequences of war on civil society, they are in general the first to work for peace and reconciliation. Still, women's experiences from times of war are seldom acknowledged in peace negotiations, where the standards for the reconstruction of war torn societies are set. The negotiators around the peace table are predominately male representatives of the fighting parties, concentrating on negotiatingan end to war. But if sustainable peace is to be reached, women's experiences cannot be excluded. “Ensuring women's participation…enhances
the legitimacy of the process by making it more democratic and responsive to the priorities of all sectors of the affected population.