I'm not a woman but I've often though of.this topic for the off chance my wife asks me the same thing. I always though a polymer lower and upper on a 14.5 barrel, standard internals, m4 handguard, and carbine milspec stock, should yield a lightweight rifle made for a small woman
Well I'm not a girl, but your description fits MY girl. I gave her my 16" Bushmaster after I finished building my 20" PSA. She likes it best in stock configuration with nothing but flip up irons. She also likes commercial handgaurds because they're smaller and easier to hold than the mil-spec. However, you also might look into replacing the handguards with a 7.2" Troy Alpha rail as that doesn't weight any more and will give you a lot of options. Only reason I haven't done that to her rifle is I can't afford it after spending money on my rifle. That would also give you the option of something like a MagPul angled grip which, in my experience, is more comfortable and gives you more control than a vertical grip or no grip. They're also light weight.
Things NOT to do would be a quad rail because of the added bulk and weight, a scope or large red dot because of weight, and a heavy profile barrel because of weight. A sporter weight or M4 profile will work best with weaker arms and a mini-red dot would be great with a mount like this to minimize weight. Also check out the new Troy pistol grips. They're a tad smaller and shorter. They work GREAT with small hands and don't have that annoying finger lip on the front.
This kit from Model 1 Sales with a stripped lower makes a very lightweight and handy firearm. I put one together on a LAR Grizzly lower and really enjoy carrying and shooting it a lot. Even with the skinny barrel accuracy is good with most ammo. I think the weight is about 6 pounds.
If you used one of the ATI polymer lowers that Palmetto State Armory has on sale for about $35.00 it would be even lighter weight and quite inexpensive too.
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