But let me make a comment before we get to those--in the bible, ONLY God ends up with the glory--everyone else has 'problems'...
The two major patterns:
This can be seen by their LITERARY portrayal throughout the Book. They are consistently used as foils over against the men. For example, in Matthew they are used to demonstrate the characteristics of true disciples (over against the Twelve). In Luke, they are used to demonstrate the universal character of the church--they are seen as aggressive disciples and heralds of the Lord.
In Partiarchial times, women 'save the day' any number of times by independent action on behalf of YHWH--the "trickery of Rebekah" or the subterfuge of the Midwives.
If one were to compute some kind of "total appearances divided by good appearances", women would have a much better record than males in the book. There are only a couple of "major" male characters of which no fault is mentioned in the text (e.g. Daniel, possibly Job?), but there are numerous women (e.g. Ruth, Abigal, Esther, Deborah).
(In the syllabus, we looked at a number of these 'women versus men' literary uses.)
There are many minor characters in the narratives--many of whom are women. But the minor women characters play a disproportionate role in the progress of God's kingdom. It is as if He were trying to teach us that everyone is more important than they realize...
Consider just a few of the major events involving "minor" female characters:
The point is this: God used 'minor' characters to make MAJOR influences on the historical flow.
Indeed, God delights in using the "normal", the "common", the "ignoble" to make His point (I Cor 1.26f: Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.
27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things -- and the things that are not -- to nullify the things that are,
29 so that no one may boast before him.
30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God -- that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
31 Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.")
Women are not romanticized in the text--there are evil females who oppress and commit bloodshed--but overall they are portrayed very favorably, and are singled out as making significant contributions. (God seems to delight in bragging on His daughters!).