Purim Gifts and Festive Meal
4. Women are also obligated to send "Mishloach Manos" ("portions of food")
[to friends] and "Matanos Le'evyonim" ("gifts to the poor") (1).
Regarding "Mishloach Manos," a woman should send to another woman, and a
man to another man. However, regarding "Matanos Le'evyonim," a woman may
give to a man and vice versa (2). There are some women who rely on their
husbands to give on their behalf, but this is incorrect. Rather, [women]
should be stringent [and give themselves] (3).
(1) Women have the same level of obligation as men for all the mitzvos of
Purim (Aruch HaShulchan 695:18).
(2) A man and woman sending gifts to each other creates an emotional
closeness ("kiruv da'as") that is not appropriate outside the context of a
marriage. However, giving gifts of charity to the poor does not engender
the same type of emotional attachment (Ibid.).
(3) See the Mishna Berura 695:25.