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Jane Kiano, former chair of Maendeleo ya wanawake dies in Nairobi

Former chairperson of Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization (MYWO) Ms. Jane Kiano has died.

According to her family, Kiano succumbed to lung cancer on Thursday night at the Nairobi Hospital where she was undergoing treatment.

Irungu Houghton, a family representative, said Kiano aged 74 died at 10:25 pm.

"She battled bravely against lung cancer and we are very proud of her...May her legacy continue to inspire young women and girls from all corners of this country. We are sure that she now walks with the angels," said a statement released by the family.

She was married to the late  Julius Gikonyo Kiano, a former Cabinet minister, nationalist and Kenya's first PhD holder.

She had over 40 years of voluntary public service and leadership in the women's movement and was born in  Tumu Tumu, Nyeri.

 Jane Kiano trained as a teacher before relocating to Nairobi and was Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization National Chairperson from 1971 to 1984 and the National Council of Women of Kenya Chairperson from1999 to 2003.

She also served as Alliance Francoise President (1982-2013) and was Nairobi City Commission Deputy Chairperson (1988–1992).

The late Kiano was the current Patron of the Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization alongside Mama Ngina Kenyatta.

Besides spearheading women's justice, Ms Kiano also served as a commissioner in the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, a body which was created after the deadly 2007/8 post-election violence to promote peaceful co-existence among Kenya's diverse ethnic groups.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

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