I agree 1000+% with getting her "The Cornered Cat" book. It's been almost like my Bible.
I agree that gender shouldn't be an issue. Education and time with the weapon in hand and on the range is priceless.
I thought I would prefer a .380 as my carry piece until I actually had one and kept it for roughly a month. It was too small for my hand and I didn't care for the long trigger pull.
I now have my DB 9mm that absolutely fits me much better than the smaller .380.
Regarding recoil, shooting the CAR method removes any recoil issue for me.
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war." ~ Revelation 19:11