BENDIGO remains without a gender equity strategy, despite a requirement it be at least drafted by this month.
But a central Victorian expert said the most important thing was to get it right.
The City of Greater Bendigo, which is coordinating the strategy's development, has confirmed it has missed the state government's deadline.
The city last year said state government funding to do the work came with the requirement it be completed by February 2020.
Staff turnover meant the city revised its plans. Instead of a completed strategy, it would release a draft in February. It now has its sights set on March.
City health and wellbeing director Vicky Mason said the draft was almost done, but was still being "tweaked".
The city will have to consult with other members of the Greater Bendigo Coalition for Gender Equity.
The draft will also have to be endorsed by council.
Ms Mason said the city was now paying for work on the strategy. She reaffirmed the city's commitment to the work, saying, "it's going to be done".
The state government said it was happy to work with the city to help it complete the strategy as soon as possible.
A government spokesperson said the funding aimed to support local governments to take a leading role in the primary prevention of family violence, and all forms of violence against women.
"Deadlines are set to ensure accountability for the funding, but this is not a punitive measure," they said.
"We're more interested in educating and supporting organisations to achieve their gender equality goals."
Gender equality is key to ending violence against women.
Gender equity is the path to achieving equal outcomes for people of all genders.
Our Watch, a national leader in the prevention of gendered violence, lists promotion of women's independence and decision making; challenging gender stereotypes and roles; strengthening positive, equal and respectful relationships; and challenging acceptance of violence against women among the necessary actions to prevent gendered violence.
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Centre for Non-Violence chief executive Margaret Augerinos said it would have been great if the Greater Bendigo Gender Equity Strategy draft had already been completed.
"The important thing is the city gets it right," she said.
She said members of the Greater Bendigo Coalition for Gender Equity, including the Centre for Non-Violence, were looking forward to seeing the draft and working with the city.
The City of Greater Bendigo has been working towards developing a gender equity strategy since July 2017.
It had initially been expected to be done in 12 months. The strategy was only 20 per cent complete by December 2017.
Progress on the gender equity strategy became a talking point last year, following controversy surrounding the use of 'ring card girls' at a high-profile boxing event.
Asked at the time why progress on the strategy was not more advanced, Ms Mason said the focus was first on coordinating the formation of a coalition, followed by development a leadership statement.
The coalition formed after a forum on International Women's Day in 2018. Its leadership statement was launched on International Women's Day the following year.
Ms Mason believed it possible the Gender Equity Strategy draft would be released on International Women's Day this year.
The day is celebrated annually on March 8.
The coalition's leadership statement was to form the basis of the gender equity strategy.
"It was thought this approach would lead to better outcomes for the community, as it was a way for the coalition partners to develop an agreed understanding for themselves before developing a strategy that would have a wider impact," Ms Mason said last year.
Coalition members include some of Bendigo's biggest organisations and foremost experts in responding to and preventing violence against women.
Founding members included Annie North, Centre Against Sexual Assault Central Victoria, Women's Health Loddon Mallee, Victoria Police, and the CFA.