Can a Woman Read the Megillah?
A community member’s daughter is becoming Bas Mitzva on Purim. He will be making the event- for girls only- in the local Lubavitch hall. He wants very much that his daughter lein the megillah for them.
Does the shul need to stop him (because of “שער הציון תרפט טו “לנשים רבות זילא בהו מילתא)?
This must certainly be stopped. This is strictly prohibited. Besides for what is written about megillah specifically, any behavior which seeks to achieve equality between men and women is foreign to Torah. This is especially true nowadays where the Reform movement has adopted such practices.
From the Torah perspective, men and women have completely different roles and one must be careful not to blur the lines between the unique roles and responsibilities each one of them have. It can also be considered a breach of tznius.
Instead, the Bas mitzvah girl should share a Dvar Torah with the female guests at the event in a modest a befitting manner.
ראה גם אצלנו בשו”ת באתרא דרב – פורים ח”א סי”ב. וראה גם הנסמן כאן: