I do not keep track of my deleted edits, and don't care at all if a small percentage are deleted. I do know that no article to which I've made substantive contributions has been deleted, although I think a few have been merged or renamed. I list many articles on my user page that I discovered at AfD and expanded and referenced. Many of these were stubs when I first encountered them.
Yes, I often work in areas where my edits are unlikely to be removed. That includes AfD which I consider a critically important "behind the scenes" area, and where I am pretty much equally likely to recommending keeping articles as deleting them. I also spend a lot of time at the Teahouse, answering questions from new editors and encouraging them to stick with Wikipedia. Many of these editors come to my talk page, where I actively welcome new editors to visit and ask questions. I consider this work to be important to the operation and development of the encyclopedia. I do not nominate articles for deletion, which is my own personal decision.
I have started or expanded about 300 articles, and I spend relatively little time working on "safe", well-developed articles. When I do major work on an article, adding references establishing notability is always high on my list. Here are some articles I've written or expanded about the topic areas you mentioned:
Women: Leni Sinclair, Mary Gardiner, Miriam O'Brien Underhill, Morleigh Steinberg, Sheri Fink, Lella Vignelli, Murder of Donna Jones, Cindy Pawlcyn, Arlene Blum, Mary Hunter Austin, Lynn Hill, Ania Bien, Kate Botello, Veda Shook, Jenny Hill (politician), Romola Remus, Naomi Wilzig, Michelle Kaufmann, Maria Filotti
Businesses: Gladding, McBean, Sonoma TrainTown Railroad, Hagafen Cellars, Mezzetta, Marin French Cheese Company, Whoa Nellie Deli, Casa de Fruta, Lion Brand, Muntz Car Company, Ephraim Faience Pottery, Pendleton Woolen Mills, The Walt Disney Family Museum, Levi Strauss & Co., California and Hawaiian Sugar Company, Grueby Faience Company, White Motor Company, Beerenberg Farm, Hunter Douglas N.V., Julius Blum, Sandusky Automobile Company, AnandTech, Falesco, De Echoput
As for "undeveloped" countries, a significant amount of my editing has to do with India, for whatever that's worth. I do not consider these "fringe" topics; I consider them encyclopedic topics. I am in general agreement with the comments by Voceditenore.