In my opinion, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is the perfect system of self-defense for women. It's all leverage and technique, and Grandmaster Helio Gracie (with his 130 pound or so frame) proved time and time again that his technique could prevail over much larger and stronger attackers. Sure, size and strength will always be factors in an altercation, but it's short-sighted to believe that those elements cannot be overcome with proper training.
Unfortunately, however, women aren't encouraged (and oftentimes are discouraged) to participate in this gentle art because of the popular "MMA-tap-or-snap," brute mentality that is being perpetuated by the mainstream media.
I can speak for our Academy in saying that all are welcome at Spencer County Martial Arts, and love to see increasing diversity on the mats. If your wife or girlfriend has any doubt about the style and if it's a right fit for her, show them this video and invite them to watch a class.
Again, big props to Ms. Ackerman on her achievement.