During the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976, Mao tried to silence internal critics, reduce inequalities between social classes, and restore a sense of Communist fervor in Chinese youth. These years were hard for all Chinese people, including women. The Red Guards were tasked with carrying out what was called "mass criticism campaigns" in which they questioned and harassed people who were accused or suspected of carrying out anti-Communist (or capitalist) activities. Red Guards often had a free hand to torture and harass people, and they raped, beat, and tortured women, particularly those seen as "bourgeoisie." Some women were also sent to labor camps and separated from their families as punishment. During much of this time period, universities stopped functioning. It is estimated that anywhere from 500,000 to 7 million Chinese people were killed during the Cultural Revolution, and many people who were deemed "intellectuals" had to serve time in harsh labor camps.