An important aspect of female involvement in PLA work was membership of the people's militia, a type of volunteer defense corps, mainly organized in rural areas. In Southeastern China, in particular along the border with Vietnam, and along the coast of Fujian Province, located opposite Taiwan, these militia were engaged in active defense of the motherland against potential American aggression spilling over from the Vietnamese conflict, or Taiwanese actions aimed at sabotage.
Given the opportunities to display heroic behavior, and very much in line with Mao's exhortation that everyone should be a soldier, many posters appeared that were devoted to these women's militia members. The posters, usually set against a tropical background, not only show these women warriors, but also imply that such activities helped combating the pervasive feelings about gender inequality. Despite these aims of the posters, they continue to show male soldiers in command.
Juliane Noth, "Militiawomen, Red Guards, and Images of Female Militancy in Maoist China", Twentieth-Century China 46:2 (2021), 153-180