Flora Crater — Feminist Activist

Feminism’s “first wave” secured equal voting rights, but not full equality. The 1960s witnessed a second wave of the feminist movement with women fighting systemic sexism in a male-dominated society. They demanded equal opportunities in education and the workforce, greater representation in politics, and autonomy over their finances and their bodies (in the form of reproductive choice and protections against sexual violence). 

Flora Crater (1914–2009) of Orange County was a leading voice for women’s equality in Virginia. A talented organizer, she established the state’s first chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1971 and founded and edited The Woman Activist and The Almanac of Virginia Politics. Crater also led the lobbying efforts that prompted the U.S. Congress to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and she continued campaigning for its ratification, as well as for other causes, until her death. 


This article was featured in the Virginia Magazine of History & Biography, Vol. 128, No. 2 in connection with the VMHC exhibition, Agents of Change: Female Activism in Virginia from Women’s Suffrage to Today

Photograph of Flora Carter
Flora Crater. (Courtesy of Walt Crater and Vivian Gray)