Neuro-muscular inefficiency is the factor at work here. Men are able to make more forceful muscular contractions. This can be trained for and improved in women (as well as men). Charles Poliquins' book Poliquin Principals, has a brief explaination.
Here is some info from CT's article "Fun With Women! My new pastime (and how women should train)". I'm not sure if it exactly answers your question, though...
The preceding table gives a good guideline when planning training programs for females. You must understand that women can lift relatively heavy weights, they can do a greater volume of work than believed (in fact they have a greater tolerance for volume then most men), and they should focus on multi-joint exercises.
Basically, women should train almost exactly like men, with a few minor differences:
Slightly more reps per set: Women do not have the capacity to recruit as many motor units as men do. As such, they'll need 1-2 more reps to fully stimulate their muscles. So when training for strength, a man should use between 1 and 5 reps while a woman will benefit more from doing 3-6 reps. When training for muscle gains, men will benefit from doing 5-10 reps while women should stick to 7-12 reps.
Slightly more sets per exercise: The reason is the same as above. Most women will need to perform 1-2 more sets of an exercise to achieve the same degree of stimulation as a man, once again because of their lower motor unit activation.
Slightly less intensity: This is not to say that women aren't as strong as men. But since they need a few more reps and a few more sets, the relative intensity must be decreased a little to allow for proper progression.
Since women have a lesser starting neural efficiency, I suggest using exercises soliciting the nervous system intensely. Complex movements such as the power clean from the hang/blocks/ground, power snatch from the hang/blocks/ground, lunges, deadlifts, squats, and push press are all very good choices.