Mao Zedong quickly realized the revolutionary potential of the huge peasant population. He, himself, was a hard working peasant as a child and converted to Marxist Socialism in 1918. He then started as an urban labor organizer. In 1925, protest by Chinese agains Japanese employers spread from the cities to the rural areas of China. Mao seized the opportunity to unify the peasants. After a failed attempt of a revolt, he split his army into mini guerrilla warfare groups and advocated equal land distribution. He built up a self-governing communist soviet centralized in Southeast China and defended against Nationalist attacks.
After the 1911 Revolution Chinese women got more equality and freedom as well. Foot binding was illegal etc.