Speech at the Cort Theater, March 5, 1915 (excerpt)



New York, March 5. -- Miss Jane Addams talked this morning in the Cort theater about the countries at war and "the women's war tax."

"Every nation now at war," she said, "claims that it is fighting in its own defense. But the appeal to self-protection is the lowest possible form of patriotism. And what is the position of woman in these countries? Her status has been reduced to the tribal conception of womanhood -- to bear fighters for the next generation.

"During the last three years the women of France and Germany had made great strides. After a hard fight the foundling boxes had been done away with and other reforms in the position of women had been achieved. Since the war, I have learned, these boxes have been reestablished by law in France. The report comes from Germany that a corps of nurses and midwives has been organized to go into districts first occupied by the soldiers and bring back to the land of their fathers all the children who owe their births to the advance of the army.

"The Woman's Peace Party has just received a cable to send representatives to a conference of women in Holland to be held the end of April. Women of the belligerent countries will also be there, even if to do so they must defy their husbands and their fathers."