Looking a bit further at it, it looks as if it's more to do with a change of Transport Minister. The Telegraph only quotes a survey where 40% of women are against it. A road safety group opposes it. And the new minister isn't keen on it whereas Phillip Hammond was. So 60% of women don't oppose it but we're quoted as the reason. There doesn't seem to be any reference on the DofT site.
I don't think it's likely but I can see another scenario - There could be more complexity to the decision, such as a rise might be expected to increase road deaths or environmental damage and women might be known to be politically sensitive to those outcomes(*). So even of they said they were happy with an 80 limit in a simple survey about driving, they might still be expected to be turned off the Conservatives if the rise went ahead because of some of the outcomes of such a policy.
Also, even if the is a poll showing women 60% in favour, when it comes to polling for politicians, they are really only interested in potential voters for their party, so can discount all the women who would never vote or never vote Tory. Still seems like sloppy communication or a blame-the-women-instead-of-highlighting-differences-between-ministers mentality is a more likely explanation.
*I do not know if raising the NSL would have those outcomes, or if women are more politically sensitive to safety and environmental policies it's just an example of the way indirect priorities might impact this decision.
I saw a news report which said I think that 53% of women supported the change and 73% of men. So I think that stat is what led to women being blamed for this, even though in fact a majority want the change regardless of gender!