Unfortunately, Virginia Maxwell was NOT what I would consider a strong female character, in fact, she acted quite helpless and indecisive most of the time... and was continually crying for "Daddy". I think she was poorly written, I think she was supposed to be stronger, but a lot of the writing left her look like a timid "daddy's girl".
Cut the girl a little slack. I mean, she was new to the whole "Drifter" thing and was pretty much thrust headlong into a rather difficult situation from the get-go. Plus, she was made leader of a ragtag group of far more experienced Drifters, which I think is quite a heavy responsibility for anyone on their first adventure. Hell, she WAS a "Daddy's girl" but I don't consider that a weakness. It was one of the things that gave her a drive and purpose besides her slavish devotion to Justice. Besides, I think she started to handle things a lot better once Maya slapped some sense into her (which was still very early in the game).
Then again, I think Maya Schroedinger is one of the most awesome female characters in the entire WA series. If only she was playable...
On the subject of strong female characters, there seems to be quite a few in the Atelier Iris series: like Lita and Marietta (AI1), and Noin and Fee (probably my top favorite in the series, AI2). I haven't played AI3 yet, but that girl with the huge ass javelin-looking thing seems to kick much ass as well.