Can a female lead a congregational prayer for men and women?
Islamic prayer (salaat) is composed of different physical postures. Out of respect for their chastity and honour, women are not advised to stand for prayer in front of men.
For this reason, the rows of women are always behind the men’s rows. This gives the women complete freedom to offer their prayers in the back rows without being embarrassed by the presence of men. It is preferable to have a separate area for women. It also follows then that a woman cannot lead a congregation of men, but she can lead a congregation of women. She can also lead a congregation of children of either gender, but not adult men. In addition, the female imam stands in the middle of the front row, and not ahead of the congregation as in the case of a male imam.