This is not really a male/female issue, it is a priestly/lay issue. When you don't have properly ordained/tonsured members of the lower orders to chant, read, serve the altar, etc. these roles are delegated to laypeople.
In parishes, these roles are normally assigned to men, presumably because they, unlike women, may be ordained/tonsured to those positions in the future. However, the commonly held belief that any man may stroll into the sanctuary, put on a robe and start messing around with the censer, simply because he has the right reproductive organs, is just wrong.
Of course, in the Slavic churches, where the traditional form of chant was replaced with Western-style polyphony, female choirs became the norm and the office of chanter became largely redundant. Even in more traditional churches, such as those of the Old Believers, other factors, such as the near absence of men in some communities due to war, also meant that women singing in the choir became the norm. There was no such need for female altar servers. That's why most Orthodox consider it quite normal and proper for women to sing in the choir, but would rend their garments and shout anathema were they to see one anywhere near the altar.
In convents, given that the visiting priest is usually the only man present at most services, also the role of altar server is naturally delegated to the women there.