Question: It is difficult for me to get to shul with my kids to hear parshas zachor. Should my husband daven earlier or should I go out later to a reading for ladies?
Answer: There is a mitzva deoraisa to remember what Amalek did to the Bnei Yisrael when they left Egypt. The minhag is to fulfil this mitzva by reading parshas zachor on the Shabbos before Purim as Amalek was the ancestor of Haman.
While Tosafos (Megilla 17b), the Magen Avraham (OC 675) and others hold that one needs to read from a sefer torah in order to fulfil the mitzva, Ramban (Ki Setze), the Minchas Chinuch (603) and others hold that this is a rabbinic requirement like all other Torah readings. Similarly, the Terumas Hadeshen (quoted by the Magen Avraham) holds that mideoraisa one needs a minyan. The Mishna Berura (Shaar Hatziyun 685:5) challenges his source, however.
Thus, the Shaarei Ephraim (8:85) writes that one who didn’t hear parshas zachor in shul can read it to himself from a chumash.
The Sefer Hachinuch (603) writes that women aren’t obligated to hear parshas zachor though the Minchas Chinuch writes that women must hear it as it is not a time bound mitzva.
While it is commendable for women to listen to parshas zachor, most poskim hold that they aren’t obligated to do so (See Moadim Uzmanim 2:168). R' Yitzchak Yaakov Weiss (Minchas Yitzchak 9:68:1) writes that it has been customary for many women to go to shul to listen though one shouldn’t make an extra Torah reading for them after davening. It would be preferable for women to read parshas zachor from a chumash (See Nitai Gavriel, Purim 20:2).