For newbie females, I suggest a .22LR semi-auto pistol, like a Buck Mark or Ruger. Easy to grip, easy to fire, easy recoil to get used to, easy to improve with.
My female hands are on the largish side (size 8 gloves). So most handguns I can easily grip. The only one I had a hard time with though was the S&W Model 41. At 41 oz., it's bigger and heftier than most other .22LRs and 1911s but a beautiful handgun all the same.
"Let those find fault whose wit's so very small,
They've need to show that they can think at all;
Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls, must dive below." -- John Dryden