WINDHOEK-- President Hage Geingob has likened Namibian men to an endangered species, saying they have been overtaken by women on the academic front and in places of worship.

Geingob made these remarks Tuesday when accepting the 2017 African Excellence Award on Gender from the "Gender Is My Agenda Campaign" (GIMAC) network here.

While acknowledging the progress made by Namibia in addressing gender imbalances, he said Namibian men were slowly being left behind and it is a sad reality. "These days you see young girls packing the church; it's a good thing, but the boys are not there. When you go to graduation ceremonies. you see young girls graduating; the men and the young boys are not there," he said.

He added that when women obtained their degrees, the men feel threatened and resorted to assaulting them. This is of great concern to Geingob, who believes gender-based violence (GBV)against women is perpetuated by men who lack confidence and feel threatened by the success of women.

The president said violence against women had reached worrying levels and is a matter of national concern.

"I think it is very bad here," said Geingob.

Official statistics from the University of Namibia reveal that in the past four years, 7,870 female students graduated from the university in various courses, compared with only 4,573 male students. In April this year, 1,159 women graduated from the Namibia University of Science and Technology, compared with 882 men.

"Talk to the young men out there, we are facing a very serious situation in Namibia. We are an endangered species," lamented Geingob.

Referring to the GIMAC award, the president said more could be done to promote gender equality and women empowerment in Namibia. Gender equality in Namibia was not a mere slogan, he said. "We breathe it, speak it and live it. We do so, knowing well that men and women are peerless partners who are supplementary to one another," he said.

Geingob, on behalf of Namibia, was awarded for his efforts in establishing a legal and policy framework for the promotion and protection of women's rights in Namibia.

GIMAC comprises 55 national and international organizations and aims to create space for civil society to monitor the implementation of the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa, which promotes gender equality and women's empowerment.