This woman developed a new board game to empower girls: 'We’re more like Wonder Woman and less like helpless princesses'

Paulina Cachero
Contrary to the traditional “Guess Who?” this version teaches its players exclusively about the extraordinary women whose names and accomplishments often get lost in the shuffle. (Photo: Playeress)
Contrary to the traditional “Guess Who?” this version teaches its players exclusively about the extraordinary women whose names and accomplishments often get lost in the shuffle. (Photo: Playeress)

This person invented the first mobile X-ray unit to treat wounded soldiers during World War I.

The answer: Sklodowska Curie, better known as Madame Marie Curie.

This person created the game “Who’s She?” to teach children the incredible facts about women who are often left out of history books.

The answer: 29-year-old Zuzia Kozerska-Girard, a self-taught artist who was tired of the traditional “Guess Who?” game, which emphasized what a person looked like versus what someone may have accomplished and wanted something more empowering for her daughter.

“For girls, you would expect there would be much more positive role models in books, games and television. But actually things are moving quite slowly,” says “Who’s She?” game creator Kozerska-Girard. ”So I needed to take it in my own hands and impact how we motivate our children, especially girls.”

<span>Zuzia Kozerska-Gerard will produce the game at her workshop in Warsaw, Poland, where she personally creates the boards from Baltic birch. </span>(Photo: Playeress)
Zuzia Kozerska-Gerard will produce the game at her workshop in Warsaw, Poland, where she personally creates the boards from Baltic birch. (Photo: Playeress)

“Who’s She?” is a spinoff of the classic “Guess Who?” board game, which pits two players against each other in a guessing game to determine the identity of each player based on the card she draws. But contrary to the traditional “Guess Who?” this version teaches its players exclusively about the extraordinary women whose names and accomplishments often get lost in the shuffle.

The inspiration for the game came after Kozerska-Girard had trouble finding clever and inclusive activities for her 3-year-old daughter, Leia.

“I was so sick and tired of all the comments about my daughter that focused only on her appearances and almost never on her abilities,” says Kozerska-Girard. “I wanted to examine the messages we educate them with. ”

With inspirational characters like activist Malala Yousafzai, aviator Amelia Earhart, Egyptian Pharaoh Hatshepsut, and more, the female-centric “Who’s She?” game inspires girls to see that anything is possible and encourages boys to look up to powerful female idols.

Creator of “Who’s She?” Zuzia Kozerska-Girard plays her new board game with her 3-year-old daughter, Leia. (Photo: Playeress)
Creator of “Who’s She?” Zuzia Kozerska-Girard plays her new board game with her 3-year-old daughter, Leia. (Photo: Playeress)

Much like the original tabletop game, two players receive identical laser cut wooden boards with doors that reveal 28 hand-painted portraits of women who represent a variety of professions, nationalities and ages from past and present. Players pick a random “biography card” of a woman whose identity the opponent must guess. Contrary to the classic game, however, players must ask “only about these bold women’s accomplishments and biographies — not their appearance,” says Kozerska-Girard.

“The biography cards are packed with all those fun and shocking anecdotes about the women you chose. This way you can actually get to know her a bit more,” the designer says. “To make it easier I developed a whole set of icons that represent if a woman won a Nobel Prize, fought for gender equality, lives with a disability or discovered something.”

Much like the original tabletop game, two players receive identical laser cut wooden boards with doors that reveal 28 hand-painted portraits of women who represent a variety of professions, nationalities and ages from past and present. (Photo: Playeress)
Much like the original tabletop game, two players receive identical laser cut wooden boards with doors that reveal 28 hand-painted portraits of women who represent a variety of professions, nationalities and ages from past and present. (Photo: Playeress)

After creating a prototype, Kozerska-Girard started a Kickstarter campaign in November to cover the costs of manufacturing the first batch of 10,000 games. She will produce the game at her workshop in Warsaw, Poland, where she personally creates the boards from Baltic birch. She has also hired artist Daria Gołąb to hand-draw and paint the portraits. Kozerska-Girard’s Kickstarter goal was $17,066 (or 15,000 euros) by Dec. 6 so that “Who’s She?” could be available for purchase in English, Italian, Spanish, French and Polish by February.

The Kickstarter has already far surpassed that goal with over 3,000 individuals backing the game, pledging $264,153 and counting. The designer’s hope is to see “Who’s She?” in shops and schools across the globe.

“In the real life, we’re all more like Wonder Woman and less like those helpless princesses waiting to be rescued by men,” says Kozerska-Girard. “I want to spread these amazing stories and inspire more of them to happen.”

“Who’s She?” uses biography cards with fun facts and anecdotes about each inspiring woman. (Photo: Playeress)
“Who’s She?” uses biography cards with fun facts and anecdotes about each inspiring woman. (Photo: Playeress)