Vulnerable Groups- Women , Child , Aged, Dalits -Caste and Class – Their Characteristics.

Vulnerable groups or sections in society refer to those who are marginalized and disadvantaged due to various factors such as their gender, age, caste, class, and economic status. In this blog, we will discuss some of the most vulnerable groups in society, including women, children, the elderly, and Dalits, and the characteristics of caste and class that contribute to their marginalization.


Women are one of the most vulnerable groups in society, facing discrimination, violence, and exploitation due to their gender. Women across the world face multiple forms of discrimination, including unequal pay, lack of access to education and healthcare, restricted mobility, and limited economic opportunities. The prevalence of harmful cultural practices such as child marriage, female genital mutilation, and honor killings further compounds women's vulnerability.


Children are another vulnerable group in society, facing a range of issues such as poverty, lack of access to education, and child labor. According to UNICEF, over 150 million children worldwide are involved in child labor, depriving them of their basic rights and jeopardizing their physical and mental health. Additionally, children are often victims of violence and abuse, including sexual exploitation and trafficking.


The elderly are often overlooked and marginalized in society, facing issues such as social isolation, poverty, and lack of access to healthcare. In many societies, the elderly are not valued or respected, leading to neglect and abuse. Furthermore, older people may face ageism, or discrimination based on their age, which can limit their opportunities and access to resources.


Dalits, also known as untouchables, are a historically oppressed community in India, facing discrimination and violence due to their caste. They are often subjected to manual scavenging, a practice where they are forced to clean human waste with their bare hands, and face exclusion from society, including access to education and employment opportunities.

Caste and Class:

Caste and class are two factors that play a significant role in determining an individual's social status and access to resources. Caste is a rigid social hierarchy that divides people into different categories based on their birth, with the higher castes enjoying greater privileges and opportunities. The Dalits and other marginalized castes often face discrimination and violence due to their lower caste status.

Similarly, class, based on one's economic status, can also contribute to marginalization and vulnerability. The lower class often lacks access to resources such as education, healthcare, and employment opportunities, perpetuating cycles of poverty and exclusion.

In conclusion, vulnerable groups in society face a range of issues, including discrimination, violence, and lack of access to resources. Addressing these issues requires a concerted effort from governments, civil society organizations, and individuals to promote equality and social justice for all. By recognizing and addressing the specific needs and challenges faced by these groups, we can build a more inclusive and equitable society.

Characteristics of the vulnerable groups

Here are some specific characteristics of the vulnerable groups mentioned in the previous response:


  • Experience gender-based discrimination and inequality.
  • Face physical, emotional, and sexual violence and harassment
  • have limited access to education and economic opportunities
  • Often, they take on the majority of unpaid care work, such as childcare and household chores.
  • Are frequently excluded from decision-making processes and leadership roles?


  • Often live in poverty or unstable environments.
  • May lack access to education and healthcare.
  • Are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, and trafficking.
  • May be forced into child labor.
  • They may face discrimination based on their gender, ethnicity, or other factors.


  • Experience social isolation and loneliness.
  • They may face ageism and discrimination based on their age.
  • Have higher rates of chronic illness and disability.
  • May lack access to healthcare or financial resources.
  • Are often overlooked or disregarded in society?


  • Face discrimination and violence based on their caste.
  • Are excluded from many aspects of society, including education, employment, and housing opportunities.
  • Often, they work in menial, low-paying jobs.
  • Are frequently subjected to manual scavenging, a dangerous and degrading practice.

Caste and Class:

  • Social hierarchy is based on birth and/or economic status.
  • Higher castes and classes enjoy greater privilege and access to resources.
  • Lower castes and classes often face discrimination and limited opportunities.
  • Social mobility can be difficult or impossible for those in lower castes or classes.
  • Poverty and inequality are often perpetuated across generations.


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