Mrs. Chen, a 60 year old woman from a rural area near Yancheng (a city not far from Nanjing), is working as a maid for a Nanjing family since 4 months. Her everyday job is to take care of a mentally disabled woman who cannot take care of herself.
The family needs Mrs. Chen to cook and wash for the woman, which takes her nearly 6 hours per day. She is allowed a short leave every two months, so that she can go back to her hometown. For her job, she earns 1,800 RMB per month, a large part of which will be sent home.
She and her husband, who is a farmer, have three children. Her son, a teacher working in one of the best high schools in Yancheng, is the reason that she continues to work at her age. In order to buy an apartment for her newly wed son and his wife, she and her husband borrowed a large amount of money. They would have to endure the debt for years if living on the earnings of her husband’s farming work. Therefore, she has to go out to work so that they can pay off the debt as early as possible.