Jane Kiano, former Maendeleo ya Wanawake leader, dies

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Ms Jane Kiano, a former chairperson of Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation (MYWO), has died aged 74 at the Nairobi Hospital after a long battle with cancer, her family says.

"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.

The family representative, Mr Irungu Houghton, said she died at 10:25pm.

Ms Kiano was the widow of Dr 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.

Ms Kiano served as the MYWO chairperson between 1971-1984 but was recently serving as the organisation's patron 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.

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