I think ideally, women should not be given special treatment just because on the street, there will be no specail treatment and when they reach time to test for Dan ranks, no special treatment will be given.
I do feel that we should not try to train beyond your partner's ability. If this means going easy on a Lady in the begining, so be it. But I do this with a hope as her training progresses that I can gradually increase the intensity with her, as you would with anyone that is new or weaker.
Having said this, a person needs to be challnged to break current plateaus and to eventually make the transition from beginner to advanced. Any comments?