1 The UN statistics include international migrants who fall into four categories:
permanent migration, temporary migration, irregular migration, and forced
migration. Temporary migration is further divided into contract migration and
2 There are many articles, theses, and dissertations on migrant domestic work-
ers in Asia, which cannot be listed comprehensively here. See Cheng (2001),
Lin, C-J (1999) and Lin H-L. (2000) for the case of Taiwan.
3 Chaboukan refers to a girl who was bought and sold at the age of eight or
younger. A chaboukan was not considered a human being but the property of
her master. She had no family name and received no wage, but the master was
obligated to arrange her marriage when she reached a certain age (Chuo 1993;
4 From 1920 to 1930, a period when Taiwan was incorporated into the industri-
alization plan of the Japanese empire, the number of shijonins tripled (from
3,578 to 9,877), according to the surveys conducted by the Japanese colonial
government (Bureau of O≈cial Statistics 1924, 1935).
5 Some women’s associations, whose members were mostly upper-class Main-
lander wives, played the role of matchmaker for the recruitment of domestic
workers in the 1950s and 1960s (Chang 1998).
6 Ownership of modern household facilities, such as refrigerators and washing
machines, was still limited during the 1960s, but the pace of acquisition
increased rapidly in the 1970s (Thornton and Lin 1994: 84).
7 This Japanese term, which refers to ‘‘aunt’’ literally or elder women in general,
became a common expression for middle-aged domestic workers in Taiwan.
8 Full-time day workers (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) are paid nt$25,000 to nt$30,000 per
month. (The conversion rate at the time of publication is us$1 to nt$33.5.)
Those who work half a day (4 or 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) earn a monthly wage between
nt$15,000 to nt$20,000. If the job covers cooking and cleaning, then laundry
and childcare are often excluded. If the worker is hired for the purpose of
childcare, she usually provides minimal or no cleaning.
9 The average hourly wage is between nt$300–350 and each cleaning service
usually takes three hours.
10 One employer I interviewed had paid as much as nt$45,000 per month for a
local live-in worker, which was about three times a migrant worker’s wage.