Menstruation is still taboo and shrouded in secrecy around the world. Adolescent girls face multiple challenges to menstrual health and hygiene. One of them is access to accurate information about periods and puberty, and what is happening to their bodies. Girls often meet silence, myths, or misinformation. Too often they are shamed and bullied, face restriction and social isolation, for what is a natural reproductive function. There is an urgent need to empower girls to manage their periods with normalcy and confidence, access evidence-based SRH information, and make informed decisions over their bodies.
To break the stigma and shame surrounding menstruation and reproductive health, transform stress into empowerment, and provide information and period tracking directly to adolescent girls in the way they want it, UNICEF co-designed a digital solution together with adolescent girls.
Oky is the first mobile phone period tracker app for adolescent girls aged 10 to 19, built to the digital realities and requirements of girls in LMICs. Through user-centered design and co-creation, girls were the decision makers. They determined the look, feel, and functionalities of the digital solution. As a result, Oky is a gamified, light-weight mobile application for low end phones, that can function offline for low connectivity settings, includes read-out option and tutorials for low (digital) literacy, and allows girls who are sharing phones, in the family or with peers, to have highest data protection and privacy through multiple user login and password protection.
Oky is a game changing digital solution by:
Oky offers girls information about their periods in fun and creative ways; it uses period and body positive language, challenges gender stereotypes and celebrates diversity. Girls chose their avatar and personalized interface to log their periods and access evidence-based information, in girl-friendly, localized and entertaining language, also via quizzes, pop-ups and avatar messages. Oky also offers cycle predictions in responsible ways.
Girls also wanted an Oky information website for their parents, teachers and communities, to support them in using the period tracker app. Oky is non-commercial, girls will never be charged to download or use the app and there will be no advertising. Oky software and content is open- source, available freely for implementation and adaptation by partner and girls in other countries.
To bring Oky to millions of girls around the world, Oky is designed to be girl-driven and scaled through implementing and contributing partners from all sectors to support Oky’s growth.