I would be fine with removing the female strength penalty (I actually find that rule stupid and sexist).
I think it's racist that Halflings have so low STR (no, not really).
There actually is a big difference here.
If you play a Halfling, there are trade-offs. In return for lower strength, you get resistance to magic and poison, as well as being able to get 19 Constitution (according to an online copy of the Pools of Darkness manual; might actually be Dexterity in game (havn't checked)). Also, the pencil and paper game gives them bonuses to thief skills, I believe. (Is that implemented in any of the Gold Box games?)
Female characters, on the other hand, are penalized and get nothing in return. It seems that Gary Gigax only wanted people to play male characters, so he penalized those who dared to play female characters (or at least that's my guess). As a result, from a game balance perspective, male and female characters are not balanced each all. (There are good reasons many DMs rule zeroed that rule away and that the rule did not survive to 2nd edition, while the halfling strength limit did.)