Amanda Brunker: 'It is quite hard for women out there and I don't think women help each other enough'
Author, aspiring playwright and former Miss Ireland Amanda Brunker has claimed that women don't "help each other enough" when it comes to careers.
Speaking to today's 'Herald', the mum-of-two said it's a man's world.
"I can be a little bit of a man-basher and with every right," she told interviewer Joanna Kiernan.
"We live in an unequal society. It is a man's world and, like many women, I have been paid less than men for doing exactly the same job and been utterly shocked when I found out.
"In 2015, you'd think we are so evolved as a society but we are actually not. It is quite hard for women out there and I don't think women help each other enough.
"I don't feel that many women have helped me down through the years, but that still isn't going to stop me from, in a small part, hopefully, helping others."
Amanda's new play 'Curiosity', which stars Leigh Arnold and Norma Sheahan, will be broadcast first on radio and then take to the stage in Dublin's Smock Alley Theatre for three weeks in October.
She told the interview she is a little more concerned about the public reaction to her new work.
"I suppose writing a play has been on the wish list for many years. I just like the idea of being to call myself a playwright," she joked.
"I'm sure many Irish playwrights will be disgusted with me wanting to be part of their gang, but I don't think there are enough female voices in Irish theatre and I don't think there are enough parts for Irish actresses. So, in my small way, I want to help change that," she explained.
Amanda (40) has three novels under her belt already - including 2008 novel 'Champagne Kisses' - but says 'Curiosity' will be different to any of her previous works.
"The play is different to any of my previous writing and I would like to think that it is a lot more grown up.
"It deals with two women who are of a similar age to me; it is about women who have been married and are older and are disappointed with life.
"And while they deal with issues that I haven't necessarily dealt with, I understand being disappointed and I think a lot of people, a lot of women especially, will identify with the characters, even though they might not with the scenarios they find themselves in."
This time around, Amanda had the luxury of dedicating time to the project, something which has been in short supply for her as the doting mum of two little boys - Setanta (9) and Edward (7) - as well as being a high profile columnist with the 'Sunday World' newspaper. Amanda took redundancy from the paper in August, freeing up some of her time to devote to 'Curiosity'.
"This is the first time I have got the money to actually fund the time for me to sit down and write. It is all totally new and it has been really fun, but it has been an expensive project. So, hopefully, it will do well and prove popular," she said.
Amanda's radio play 'Curiosity' will be broadcast on Dublin's Sunshine 106.8FM at 7pm on Sunday, May 10.