Research & Analysis
Reading Deck

Resilient Rural Women: Applying Personas and Insights for Climate-Smart Innovation

Rural women are central to building more resilient global food systems, yet they are over-exposed to stresses and shocks related to climate change and underserved by service providers. A range of climate-smart services can contribute to rural women’s resilience to climate change. But rural women have different motivations, behaviors, needs, and aspirations and no single, mass market solution will effectively serve them. Understanding these differences enables service providers to reach and cater to rural women more effectively.​ 

  • Beyond the overarching impact climate change has on rural women, there is nuance in how different personas of rural women understand, perceive and react to the stresses and shocks related to climate change.  

  • Service providers can use these personas as tools to improve the design and delivery of their services by understanding opportunities to improve every stage of rural women’s service journey. 

This deck explores three personas of rural women and their distinct customer journeys through product and service engagement. It aims to provide a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities rural women face—including in the context of climate change—so they can be better addressed, and spotlights concrete examples of providers offering services tailored to rural women that can ultimately help build climate resilience. 

Related Resources


Rural women are critical to ensuring global food security but disproportionately vulnerable to climate change. In this working paper, CGAP and Mercy Corps AgriFin provide an overview of 10 opportunities for service providers, investors, and donors to improve rural women’s climate resilience and share examples of innovative business solutions.
Reading Deck

This deck synthesizes CGAP research and insights on the constraints faced by women in rural and agricultural livelihoods (WIRAL) and the opportunities for service providers and funders to add value to their lives and livelihoods.

Gender transformative approaches are good for business. How can companies accelerate their adoption? Insights from recent CGAP and IDH – The Sustainable Trade Initiative events point to a number of answers.

Rural women have less access than men to the labor they need to power their farms. This drives a gender gap in agricultural output and constrains women's incomes. Financial services could be part of the solution.