On Sept. 13, 1928, Empress Menen gave a speech to the World Women’s Association, reasoning with them on the aggression of Italy:
“I am pleased to present my speech to all world women. When Italy viciously and unjustly attacked our people and country, the World Women Association supported us to settle in a positive way. We are very happy to express our deep feelings for the association.
When I am speaking now, in order to be understood by all countries, my daughter Princess Tsehay is translating my speech into English. Even though world women are living in different countries with different climates, all women are interrelated with the same will and objectives. War is the distress and trouble of mankind. Although world women are in different countries with different races and religions, the act of war has victimized their husbands, brothers, War is a destruction of the family and all living creatures, so as women we are against war.
We know that all Italian mothers and barren women may worry about the war, since war is good for nothing. Therefore, all women found in the world should prevent the war before it brings trouble and distress. They should collaborate their voice and request to avoid the war before the bloodshed comes on both sides.
Ethiopia does not want violence to solve conflicts. Her wish is to maintain harmony. Ethiopia tried to settle the conflict harmoniously in the early months. In every aspect Ethiopia has done her best, so we are mentally and spiritually free. Ethiopian people welcome any foreign guests who come to work diligently and innocently. Ethiopian people have a natural hospitality to foreigners which has been narrated throughout the history of the world. However, one state which is a neighbor to Ethiopia is trying to conquer and govern her. Ethiopia is always son the line of unity, while the rival state is looking out only in its own interest. The enemy deployed its army and basted it around our country to kill our women’s husbands, brothers, and children.
Ethiopians live together working and praying, loving and honoring the Almighty, but the enemy is trying to devastate the wealth of the country and destroy our family in the name of modernization. We pray to the Almighty not to face such distress and destruction should the so-called modernization bring a large calamity. Hence, the association which is established for the purpose of harmony by world women must exert influence to bring harmony and stability to Ethiopia. We pray and hop that the World Women Association may contribute much to settle this conflict without violence. We pray to the Almighty that the association can accomplish its mission. We hope the acts of the association may bring fruitful results to preserve harmony and security in our country.
Nonetheless, if the war is started, we women should treat wounded soldiers and minimize the trouble of the war. Women living all over the world who stand for love may help us during the war time. We know that these women will assist the sacrificed patriot’s family. All women of the world should struggle to bring harmony and justice. Government officials may be guided on the line of the Almighty. We pray for this and hope that you may collaborate with us.”
Her Imperial Majesty Empress Menen Asfaw