I went through this same ordeal a few years back. CC class was my best investment I could of made. The one thing I learned was that pettie women lack the hand strength to effectively work the slide on most common semi-autos. We tried every semi you can think of, the only one she was comfortable with was a Sig 230 .380 acp. She could operate slide and shoot it suprisingly well. But hand strength limted the abilty to fully load a magazine to capacity. It came down to one simple phrase she made "Semi's are just to complicated". She enjoys the simplicity of a revolver. .38 spl 5 shot with a extened grip for more comfortable shooting.
It took us 3 years to find her the perfect gun.
Dad !!! "It's only going to be perfect if you do it yourself." - my teenage daughter
NRA - Life Member