Why Global Citizens Should Care
Technology has the power to not only unify people, but also provide tools needed to improve the health and well-being of people in many different ways. The apps showcased at the 2019 Women Deliver Conference are examples of technology that can be used to advance Global Goal 5 on gender equality. Join Global Citizen and take action now.

Mobile apps have the power to connect, improve, and change the lives of people around the world — which is why the 2019 Women Deliver Conference hosted an event called Appy Hour on Tuesday evening, showcasing 18 apps working to advance progress for girls and women.

Women Deliver brought together 8,000 people from over 165 countries to find solutions for existing inequalities. These apps are just a few examples of the innovative thinking surrouding gender equality this week in Vancouver.

1. Sheboard

Sheboard was created by Plan International to change the narrative around gender. After downloading the app, it uses predictive text to suggest empowering and less sexist language in context to girls and women. For example, if you were to type “Girls are,” the suggested word might be “bold.”

“We were thinking about how sexist language can sometimes be,” Anna Könönen, from Plan International Finland, told Global Citizen. “We talk to girls and about girls about their bodies and their looks, and how nicely they behave — and to boys about how brave and how strong and … skillful they are.”

Available on Google Play for Android.

2. Lulu’s Journey

This app works as an educational game to help users learn about menstrual hygiene. One feature works like Candy Crush — but with Diva Cups and pads instead of candies.

“It’s very important to us that they find themself in the game, and get a personal connection, so it’s based on storytelling where you follow this girl Lulu getting her first period,” Matilde Juul from Lulu Lab told Global Citizen.

It’s meant to help both boys and girls learn about sexual health and reproductive health. Its prototype was tested in Kenya, but Juul notes that one of the great things about it is that it can be translated and adapted for any country.

Available on GooglePlay for Android.

3. Girl Rising

This app came to fruition following the Girl Rising film, which followed the journey of nine girls from around the world who had to fight for their education. It was developed with support from Vodafone India Foundation.

“[The app] gamifies their stories and talks about what it takes for a girl to actually go to school,” Richa Hingorani from Girl Rising India told Global Citizen.

Users complete tasks to help a character get to school, but also use quizzes to help people identify gender-based discrimination, question the norms, and learn more about women’s achievements.

Available on GooglePlay for Android.

4. Hello Doctor

Hello Doctor connects patients with doctors via video and audio calls. You can purchase packages of calls, depending on how many you think you might need (pregnant or new mothers might choose a higher package than a student, for instance).

Mohammad Adnan from Hello Doctor told Global Citizen that while Bangladesh has a population of 165 million people, it only has 75 registered doctors, making ratio of doctor to patients about 1 to 2,000.

“Observing those contexts, I started thinking about what’s the product we need to develop to make those things possible for the rural areas, where they can connect with the doctors,” Adnan said.

Available on GooglePlay for Android.

5. SafePal

With the SafePal app, users can report instances of sexual violence confidentially. They can also find service providers for help that are in close proximity to them. The provider is alerted and will be urged to contact the user to immediately open the dialogue.

The app was created by a group of young Ugandans who came up with the idea during a hackathon that was organized by UNFPA Uganda and Reach A Hand Uganda, in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MiT) and Sana Mobile in 2015.

Available on GooglePlay for Android.


Demand Equity

5 Mobile Apps That Champion Gender Equality Around the World

By Jackie Marchildon