Gender and Water Alliance

Cartoon booklets on gender and water speak to people all over the world

Source Bulletin May 2009

All 4 Ziraldo booklets“To be part of this struggle to inform the world of the need to take care of water, including the issue of gender, is very important. For me, therefore it was an honour to be commissioned to do this work to prepare these booklets that will be distributed around the world,” says Ziraldo Alves Pinto. He is the Brazilian artist who the Gender and Water Alliance approached to develop four booklets about gender and water, specifically targeted at school children and illiterate people.

The booklets show self-explanatory pictures with brief additional texts. As one of the other cooperating artists, Miguel Mendes Reis, explains, “The booklets use language accessible to any age group and any educational level. They explain complicated, scientific and philosophical things into every day examples with simple words”.

Within the series are four different titles, each available in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish:

  1. A Vision of Gender. What’s this?
  2. Gender, Water, Sanitation and Health
  3. Gender, Water and Climate Events
  4. Gender, Water, Agriculture and Food


The launch of the booklets at the World Water Forum demonstrated that the drawings appeal to people from all over the world. One reason might be in the words of Miguel Mendes Reis: “We live in a multi-coloured country where people of all ethnic origins have mixed, including a rich composition of immigrants. We always try to draw the Brazilian people as they are and, incredible as it may seem, they are just like the people from anywhere in the world.”

Extra possibilities

A special asset of this cooperation between GWA and Ziraldo and his team is the availability of the booklets in digital format. For every language, a DVD is available with the complete booklet as PDF files as well as open files of the drawings with and without the text in QuarkXPress. This enables the use of the booklets in a more flexible way. It makes it easy to translate the text to local or regional languages, to adapt the text to local circumstances and even change the order of the illustrations to create your own stories.

If you are interested in using or adapting these booklets, please contact the Gender and Water Alliance and always acknowledge GWA and Ziraldo when using these in your work.

Realisatie door Four Digits op basis van Plone.