I did Wing Chun Kung Fu which was designed by a woman, for about 4 years. I would strongly recommend it. I am not the high kicking style of person so it suited me. I loved it. Loved the lessons, everything about it. Got really fit. I quit at the time because of lack of $ (doing uni, buying house, 3 little kids etc - that was my rationalisation. If I had my time over now I would have quit stupid smoking or cut out something else and kept it up!)
Hindsight is such a marvellous thing. Do I think I could have defended myself ? - yes indeed I do. But it also taught that you are never 100% safe,eg. a sneak attack/beginner can get in a lucky punch.
It is worth looking into before deciding as styles are very different. Maybe see if you can visit a few places and see what they do and imagine if it would suit you. Often they will offer a free lesson so you can see if you like it.
"Unknowingly, we plow the dust of the stars, blown about us by the wind, and drink the universe in a glass of rain."