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.