In the Victorian ideal, a woman was the repository of family morality – the one who would not only nurture the bodies of her children and husband, but also their minds. The educational experiment Gradgrind undertakes is to our eyes quite progressive – teaching his girls and boys the same things and removing the burden of ideal femininity from his daughter. Unfortunately, this leaves her unprepared for entering the world outside her own progressive family. She is unable to fulfill the idealized roles of wife and mother, and has no other options for adulthood outside of these.
In rejecting the kind of education Louisa receives, and in advocating for the kind of contented submission Rachael sinks into after Stephen's death, the novel is deeply conservative in its conception of women.
Statistics are a lot less crucial to – or powerful over – the lives of women than of men.