I have taught hundreds of women over the years Self Defense clinics and in our regular classes.
Women have the same abilities to learn real and effective self protection skills as with any gender it takes real and dedicated practice to develop the skills necessary to effectively defend one's self.
As Bruce Lee stated knowing is not enough. Learning moves in a short specialty class gives a basic overview of what is possible to do then real practice is necessary to develop this knowledge into the skills needed in time of emergency. I am not a fan of these classes as they do not provide the time to develop. They are a snapshot.
I have developed a course that takes 8 weeks two hours a day to get that level of skill and there are many others that have that duration or longer that are also effective. Quick fix ideas are never of value when you take into consideration the way that we as human beings learn skill sets. We learn by doing consistently and over a period of time. It takes time and repetitions to develop neural pathways for anything whether that is tennis, golf or self defense skills.
Women for the most part will be defending themselves against men who are much of the time bigger or stronger there fore what they learn should be on a higher order than what is typically taught. They should be learning skills that will give them the tools to safely escape and or disable an attack. Typical "self defense" classes are dumbed down and are insulting to peoples intelligence and are a black mark on the Martial Arts community in my opinion. Shop well who is teaching you do they know what they are doing and do they have the skill to bring you to a highly skillful place.
If you are interested in learning to defend your self and your loved ones I would highly recommend finding a program that goes into sufficient depth and over a long enough period of time to make the knowledge useful to your body. When done correctly this is fun, a great work out and a invaluable confidence builder. When done wrong it builds false security and can be dangerous.
Look at various programs and invest. It is not inexpensive to learn good material it takes time it takes money and it takes focused attention.