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Day 18 – 1. What do you understand by ‘vulnerability’? How do structural vulnerabilities arise? Examine.

1. What do you understand by ‘vulnerability’? How do structural vulnerabilities arise? Examine.

‘भेद्यता’ से आप क्या समझते हैं? संरचनात्मक भेद्यता कैसे उत्पन्न होती है? जांच करें।


Vulnerability is the state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked, either physically, mentally or emotionally. It is a state of being in distress. Constant state of vulnerability hampers natural growth, physical and mental well-being of an individual and society. It is both intrinsic and structural.


Structural vulnerabilities refer to unequal access to resources such as education, employment, health services resulting from prevailing socio-economic, political and environmental factors.

Vulnerable groups: women, old-aged, disabled, Dalits, children, poor and marginalised, Tribal people, religious-linguistic minorities and LGBT community.

Structural vulnerabilities arise as a consequence of following factors:

  • Social reasons: historical subjugation, discrimination and exploitation of women and people of lower caste.

Example: Patriarchy is pervasive and has affected women in every sphere resulting into poor health conditions, female infanticide, domestic violence, wage gap, glass ceiling, lower political representation.

  • Economic reasons: Old age people are seen as liability and neglected. Girl child is seen as burden to family and their education is ignored. Tribal people are denied forest rights which affect their livelihood.
  • Political reasons: majority-minority conflict leading to political refugees.

Ex: Myanmar- Rohingya refugee’s.

  • Environmental: Poor people with inadequate shelter, food and clothing are most affected in the events of natural disasters and epidemics. Shrinking forest cover puts livelihood of tribes at risk. Climate change puts people of low lying islands and coastal areas at risk.

Above mentioned reasons lead to inequalities in the opportunity to grow thus perpetuate poverty and make people vulnerable.


Vulnerability is closely associated to the socio political, regional and economic status of the person/community. It is one of the biggest concern in the modern world and can be addressed by reducing the inequality in the society at various levels. Sustainable development with equitable distribution can only be a viable option to reduce vulnerability gap.

Best answer: satvik

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