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Can Jakartans survive without maids?

Jessicha Valentina
Jessicha Valentina

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, June 28, 2017  /  12:35 pm
Can Jakartans survive without maids?

For Jakarta's middle-class, domestic workers are affordable, as their salaries are typically lower than the minimum wage of Rp 3.35 million (US$257) per month. (Shutterstock/File)

It is that time of the year again. Soon enough, Jakarta residents will head to their hometowns to celebrate Idul Fitri. 

However, not everyone is eager for the long break, with some Jakartans worried about the possibility of their maids not returning to work.

For Jakarta's middle-class, domestic workers are affordable, as their salaries are typically lower than the minimum wage of Rp 3.35 million (US$257) per month.

Thirty-year-old Nourma Junita said she needed a live-in domestic worker to supervise her 9-month-old son. “My husband and I work,” said Nourma, adding that she has had six live-in babysitters in the past year and a half.

Elsewhere in the city, 31-year-old Amyrah Marzuki Aziz said she wanted someone to help her with household chores. She met her current live-in maid through her mother-in-law. “After giving birth to my second child, I planned to hire a babysitter from an agency as it seemed more professional."

Read also: View point: Indonesians must have their maids

Some people, like 31-year-old Putri Natalia, a mother of two and owner of Lotus Flower florist, said she did not feel the need to have a live-in domestic worker. She and her husband take turns taking care of their children and the house.

However, Putri said that her husband wanted to hire a live-in domestic worker. “He was used to having a maid at home,” she said.

Though technology has improved, many Jakarta residents still depend on maids. Online cleaning services such as Go-Clean or Seekmi are seen as an additional help, but not as solutions on their own.

“I frequently use online cleaning services but I need someone to help me with my kid,” said Nourma.

Thirty-five-year old Titin Dwi Utari Susilowardani shares a similar sentiment. Currently living abroad, Titin does not have the luxury of hiring a maid. However, she is considering hiring a part-time maid once she returns to the capital.

“I will try to do everything on my own, but a part-time maid would be of great help," she said. (kes)

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