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Women are not only allowed but also encouraged to seek knowledge with out any limitation. Women can reach to highest degrees of knowledge which is known as Ejtihad إجتهاد.We have in our Shia history many women reached to the high degree of Ejtihad. When the women becomes highly learned in Islamic sciences up to Ejtihad, she will not be dozing Taqleed for other Mujtahids but she as a Mujtahidah has to act upon her own verdicts.

The post of Marja' of Taqleed has big burden which is not for any woman to bear with her delicate nature as a female and her physical abilities and circumstances e.g. menstruation cycle, pregnancy, breast feeding etc.

Woman can reach to the highest degrees of Islamic knowledge with out making her facing challenges which are beyond her abilities and comfort.

Islam is not a male dominated religion, as Islam teaches that the human beings are created in male and female (Sura 49, Verse 13). Islam granted the woman since more than 1400 years full rights which were never given to her by any other religion or ideology. Europe till recently, treated with women as incomplete human beings and used to give her less than the salary of similar job man. Women were not allowed to study nor to do business or even own. 
Islam put pious women in the highest rank above millions of men. Lady Fatimah (AS) is the best human being after her father Muhammad (SAWA) and her husband Ali (AS).

Wassalam.

No Marja and no pious scholar will allow any non Mahram female to kiss or touch his hand directly. It is not allowed and the Marja will never allow it.

Wassalam.

Salaam
Late Sheikh Yusuf Sane'ee and Sheikh Muhammad Is'haaq Fayyaz believe in 13 unless other signs of puberty appear before that, and also Sheikh Ibrahim Jannaati believes in the start of her menses as the sign of her puberty.

Salaam
There are narrations from Ahlul Bait in this regard like:

  1. عن امیرالمؤمنین (ع) لایصلین احدکم خلف المجنون و ولدا الزنا وسائل الشیعة
  2. مَعْرُوفٍ عَنْ أَبِی جَمِیلَةَ عَنْ سَعْدِ بْنِ طَرِیفٍ عَنِ الْأَصْبَغِ بْنِ نُبَاتَةَ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَمِیرَ الْمُؤْمِنِینَ ع یَقُولُ سِتَّةٌ لَا یَنْبَغِی أَنْ یَؤُمُّوا النَّاسَ وَلَدُ الزِّنَا وَ الْمُرْتَدُّ وَ الْأَعْرَابِیُّ بَعْدَ الْهِجْرَةِ وَ شَارِبُ الْخَمْرِ وَ الْمَحْدُودُ وَ الْأَغْلَفُ
  3. and a narration from Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al-Baqer in which he says don't pray behind 5 types of people one of which is a child out of wedlock.

    Plus that is the consensus of Shia scholars on this ruling.

    The word Imam means Muqtada, a leader and someone whom others follow and set an example in their works. And the Imam of the congregation is the one whom the group and the congregation set as their role model. Therefore, there should not be a defect in the position of the incumbent, although he himself has not interfered in achieving this defect. To explain that, the fact that an illegitimate child is deprived of some social and spiritual positions such as Imamate of the congregation and the authority of Taqlid, etc., which are the contents of some above mentioned narrations, is because of the nature of these positions and it does not mean deprivation of salvation on the Day of Judgment, for example, a blind person can not be in charge of some positions or a person who is very forgetful can not be a judge even if he has not committed the slightest sin in his life, having a good memory is one of the conditions of a judge. But these deprivations have nothing to do with one's felicity or unhappiness(i.e. bad end), and so is that with the illegitimate child, and our proof is that in the same narrations, the illegitimate child is placed next to the insane and the leper, etc., even though someone is not crazy or is not leper by their own will.

    From a social point of view, being an illegitimate is also a kind of defect and does not lead to reputation, because on the one hand, illegitimacy is the product of a shameful act, and on the other hand, most of the illegitimate children have not shown an acceptable record throughout history, and this is certain that in holding some positions, a person should be away from the characteristics and traits that cause hatred and distance from people, even if those characteristics have been imposed on him without authority.