Equality for Women and Girls

The Summit Foundation supports the transformation of harmful, gender-based social norms so that girls and women from marginalized backgrounds are healthy, empowered and able to reach their full potential.

We are motivated to address women and girls’ equality because it is right and because of the data. Evidence shows that as indicators for women and girls’ well-being improve, economies will grow, poverty rates will decline, and the environment will benefit.  However, in many countries, women and girls are constrained by socio-cultural, structural and policy barriers that impede their rights and lead to elevated school drop-out rates, few livelihood opportunities, child marriage/early unions, adolescent and unintended pregnancies, and gender-based and sexual violence.

Most of our current grant support is focused in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Quintana Roo, Mexico, mirroring Summit’s Mesoamerican Reef program. Summit invests in young leaders and their projects, as well as broader initiatives to advance gender equality and expand adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights. We also support a few projects that advance momentum for women and girls’ equality in Latin America and globally.

In line with Sustainable Development Goal 5, our long-term vision is that girls and women achieve full equality and are fully empowered, valued by their families and communities, and have viable pathways to quality education, health, employment and fully participate in civic and political life. We also envision a world where women and girls have the ability and autonomy to make decisions about their sexual and reproductive lives, free from discrimination, coercion and violence.

Photo above and left: © Kate Lord Photography

GOJoven was launched in 2004 in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Quintana Roo, Mexico and has trained over 350 young leaders aged 18-30 to act as catalysts for improving adolescent sexual and reproductive health choices, services, policies, and programs at the community, national, and regional levels. Run by the Public Health Institute (PHI) for nearly ten years, PHI began supporting a transition to alumni-led GOJovens in 2012. The local youth-led GOJoven associations have continued to grow and deepen their impact…. Read More »

The Central America and Mexico Youth Fund (CAMY Fund) is a multi-donor initiative that supports projects in Central America and Mexico that are led by youth, for the benefit of youth. Launched in 2014 by the Seattle International Foundation with support from Summit, the CAMY Fund gives young project leaders the tools they need to succeed – providing funding and technical assistance with project planning, budgeting, and evaluation of results. Current supported projects focus on girls’ equality and adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights…. Read More »

Champion for family planning Ann Mitu in the doorway of a shop of Kangemi, Nairobi, on June 27, 2016

Right now, the largest generation of young people in history is in or approaching their reproductive years. Youth need information about their bodies and rights, as well as tools and support to make the decisions best for themselves and their circumstances.

The Youth Investment, Engagement, and Leadership Development (YIELD) Project report, Young People Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health: Toward a New Normal, finds that making this happen will require young people’s participation and leadership at every level in youth sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) initiatives—from ideation to implementation…. Read More »

Recent Grants

Our Equality for Women and Girls Program features grantmaking that focuses on achieving women and girls’ equality within Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Quintana Roo. Here are a few of the projects and organizations we have supported recently.