Scholars and advocates caution that the female power surge does not always lead to improved socioeconomic status or increased rights for women. The amount of power wielded by a head of state varies, and studies show that women have more often moved into the weaker executive slots.
Moreover, female representation seems to have flat-lined the world's most powerful countries – in particular, the United States. Although pundits called this election year in the US the "Year of the Republican Woman," the reality was far less dramatic. While significantly more Republican women ran in House primaries (128), fewer won (47) than in 2004. And despite some high profile victories – Nikki Haley becoming South Carolina's first woman governor, or Kelly Ayotte taking one of New Hampshire's Senate seats – the overall number of female governors stayed the same, at six, and the number of women in Congress overall stayed about the same. The Inter-Parliamentary Union ranks the US 73rd in the world in terms of female representation, tied with Turkmenistan.