More on Rav Ovadiah and Women Reading Megillah
There has been lots of discussion about Rav Ovadiah’s statement regarding women reading Megillat Esther for men. See my previous post here, this post at Hirhurim, and this post at My Obiter Dicta. I just had a chance to look over the relevant sections in Hazon Ovadiah on Purim (Thanks go out to my friend Mordechai S. for keeping me updated on Rav Ovadiah’s books and going with me to buy them this past December in Israel.) and he writes the following on p. 60 in the note.
And know that in a small settlement where there is no man who knows how to read the megillah properly, and there is a woman that knows how to read the megillah, of course she is able to read the megillah with its cantillations for them, and there is no reason to doubt this.
Hazon Ovadiah on Purim was published in 2003 and I now take back having said that he was never explicit about this as a practical alternative before.
Update: See this nice overview of the question by R. Eliezer Melamed (Hebrew). This is from last year and he refers to the above quoted source from Hazon Ovadiah.